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« Will This Trump Move Trigger A Coal And Nuclear Buying Spree? | Main | Rising Costs Slow The Growth Of Nuclear Power »

Lights that a hurricane can’t blow out


Taking U.S. nuclear reactors offline risks future power outages from dangerous monster storms

With millions of Americans experiencing power outages due to catastrophic hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, there has never been a more important time to look critically at the reliability and durability of our electrical grid. In Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria, reports indicate that it will take months — or even as long as a year — for the power to be fully restored. Clearly, these developments invite a careful reconsideration of our electricity supply. This is why I commend Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and the Trump administration for their commitment to protecting nuclear energy as a critical supplier of baseload energy.

Irma, Harvey and Maria left an extraordinary amount of people without power. Florida learned tragically what the absence of electricity meant to its most vulnerable population, as 14 elderly residents in a single assisted-living community perished due to extreme heat. Having nuclear energy facilities near storm-torn areas was vital for restoration efforts. Since these plants can store vast supplies of fuel, and deliver massive amounts of electricity once the grid is ready for it, they could quickly power on to generate energy in the aftermath of the storms.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Mr. Perry remarked how beneficial it would be to bring nuclear power to places without existing traditional nuclear, such as Puerto Rico, to help restore power following natural disasters. In his testimony before Congress on Oct. 12, he specifically expressed a wish of being able to deliver small modular reactors (SMRs) to Puerto Rico. He highlighted the work that our national laboratories are undertaking to bring SMRs to fruition, and how hopefully someday in the future, we’ll be able to fly SMRs to disaster areas to aid recovery efforts.


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