As it becomes increasingly clear that renewable sources of energy — wind, solar, hydropower, and hydrogen fuel cells — are not going to become available on a large scale anytime soon, the only real hope for the U.S. both to reduce its use of fossil fuels and to provide a dependable source of power for the nation’s electrical grid is nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy has had a bad rap for almost 50 years in this country thanks to the infamous Three Mile Island debacle in the late 1970s and then the Chernobyl disaster a decade later. But today’s nuclear power ain’t your grandparents’.
Future nuclear power generation would be provided by what are known as advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). The U.S. government is providing incentives (through the Inflation Reduction Act) to develop these SMRs as safe and affordable nuclear power options for our grid.
We would note that almost 20 percent of our nation’s power supply today comes from nuclear plants (in France, 68 percent of its power comes from nuclear plants). With energy demands increasing across the country for the foreseeable future — electric vehicles for example, still need to use the grid to “fill up” — the new nuclear power looms as the most obvious choice to remove fossil-burning fuels from our energy supply.