WASHINGTON, D.C.—Alex Flint, Nuclear Energy Institute senior vice president of governmental affairs, made the following comment in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.
“As the president and Congress work to return the economy to sound footing, it is worth remembering that sustained economic growth will require affordable, reliable energy supplies. For decades now, nuclear energy—with its added advantage of being the nation’s leading low-carbon source of electricity—has been one of the pillars of our electric sector. It is imperative that nuclear energy facilities continue to play a key role in the mix of electricity sources for U.S. energy, environmental and economic goals to be achieved.
“Beyond the massive amounts of electricity they generate, nuclear energy facilities create hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue for state and local economies. With five reactors being built in the United States and nearly 70 more under construction internationally, it’s important that American energy companies have a fair chance to compete in a global nuclear market that could be as large as $750 billion over the next 10 years. Every $1 billion of exports represents 5,000 to 10,000 American jobs.
“Because America’s leadership in this market provides strategic value well beyond the purely business aspects, the Nuclear Energy Institute will work with the administration and Congress to foster a high level of government agency coordination that is needed for success in the international markets. Among the issues that Congress and the administration should support are approval of bilateral trade agreements on nuclear energy technology and prompt review of export licenses by the Department of Energy for the sale of U.S. nuclear energy technology abroad.”