WASHINGTON—Fifty years ago today – in his historic “Atoms for Peace” address to the United Nations – President Dwight D. Eisenhower articulated for the first time a national policy to develop the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Nuclear industry leaders today hailed the anniversary while pointing to the myriad ways that nuclear technologies prolong and improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
“The use of nuclear technologies has bettered the lives of untold millions around the globe,” said Joe F. Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute. “Nuclear energy has brought affordable, reliable, emission-free electricity to more than 30 nations. Medical diagnosis and treatment using nuclear- and radiation-related technologies has saved millions of lives. Beyond that, there are countless applications of nuclear technology in agriculture and food processing, industrial quality assurance, desalination of water, and space applications.”
Donald Hintz, chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute and president of Entergy Corp., said, “President Eisenhower pledged that the United States would lead the development of peaceful uses for nuclear technology. His vision has been fulfilled.”
By integrating nuclear energy as a commercial enterprise into the American economy, the U.S. industry was able to make nuclear energy’s benefits available to all Americans. Today nuclear energy produces electricity that energizes one of every five U.S. homes and businesses with a clean, reliable supply of power, Hintz said. As the second-largest source of electricity production, nuclear energy is vital to America’s economy, energy security and the environment.
“Our industry is committed to the highest standards of safety and performance. From excellent nuclear plant performance to public and policymaker support and growing awareness of environmental support, the future prospect for nuclear energy looks great,” Colvin said.
The industry’s Vision 2020 goal is to add 50,000 megawatts of new nuclear-generating capacity to the nation’s electricity grid over the next two decades. The Department of Energy projects the need for nearly 50 percent more electricity in the U.S. by 2020.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.