WASHINGTON—Chief executives from nearly 100 nuclear technology companies have contacted governments around the world-including Congress and the White House-advocating continued use of nuclear electricity and development of advanced nuclear power plant technology to combat the threat of global climate change.
In an open letter that coincides with this week’s start of international climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany, nuclear industry executives encouraged the world’s political leaders to support policies that give every country engaged in greenhouse gas control programs “access to all technologies as needed, including nuclear electricity.”
“As representatives of the international business community, we recognize our global challenge is to minimize this (environmental) impact while satisfying the electricity needs of all peoples of the world,” the letter stated. “Nuclear power plays an important part in meeting this challenge because it provides much needed electricity, protects the environment, and supports sustainable development.”
U.S. signatories to the letter include executives from the Nuclear Energy Institute, Westinghouse Electric, COGEMA Inc., USEC Inc., GE Nuclear Energy and several power companies, including Entergy Corp., STP Nuclear Operating Co., Progress Energy Inc., Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Constellation Energy Group, American Electric Power, FirstEnergy Corp., DTE Energy Co., Dominion Energy Inc., Omaha Public Power District, Southern California Edison and Duke Power Co. Industry leaders from 15 countries are signatories to the July 11 letter.
Nuclear energy plays a key role in limiting potential climate change because it avoids the emissions of greenhouse gases linked to the threat of global warming, “particularly in the developed world where significant emissions reductions are sought,” the letter states.
“Nuclear is a necessary and uniquely effective part of the solution. Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change should acknowledge nuclear electricity as an acceptable energy and environmental resource that successfully avoids greenhouse gas emissions. This will ensure that global emission control programs are flexible and preserve the right of individual countries to make their own energy and development choices.”
Nuclear energy provides one-fifth of U.S. electricity needs and is the nation’s largest emission-free source of electricity. It accounts for nearly 70 percent of all non-emitting electricity generation in the country.
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 .