Dallas—Texas needs new nuclear plants as an indispensable part of its energy portfolio to meet the multiple challenges of an expanding economy and population, increasing electricity demand, and environmental considerations, Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Frank L. (Skip) Bowman said in a speech here today.
Texas is expected to add 12 million new residents by 2030, and the state’s electricity demand is projected to grow by 48 percent in the same period. In addition, Texas’ economy has been expanding, with the gross state product increasing at an average rate of 3.1 percent per year over the past five years. New nuclear plants would provide energy diversity that, coupled with an expanded portfolio of renewable generation such as wind and solar, will enable the state to continue to expand existing businesses and encourage spending and investment for new businesses.
“If we are going to be environmentally responsible and produce the baseload electricity required to drive economic growth, clean nuclear energy is an indispensable part of the future energy portfolio in Texas,” Bowman said.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization with offices in Washington, D.C.
Speaking before the Dallas Friday Group monthly luncheon, Bowman, a retired Navy admiral, paid tribute to the Texas Legislature for recognizing the value of and need for new nuclear plants in the state by enacting new laws designed to attract nuclear plant construction projects including a provision that makes nuclear and advanced coal facilities eligible for local taxing authorities to grant temporary property tax relief.
Bowman pointed out many of nuclear energy’s attributes:
Nuclear energy provides 20 percent of the nation’s electricity (10 percent in Texas) and accounts for nearly 75 percent of all electricity generation that emits no air pollutants or greenhouse gases.
Nuclear energy has the lowest electricity production costs, which in 2006 stood at 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, with coal at 2.5 cents, natural gas at 6.8 cents and petroleum at 9.6 cents.
Nuclear plants avoid carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) that are annually equivalent to the CO2 emissions from nearly all passenger cars in the U.S.
Bowman also spoke about the nexus between energy security and national security. He pointed out that the U.S. depends on imported oil for 63 percent of its oil consumption and estimates that the country will be importing 25—30 percent of its natural gas needs within 20 years, “largely from countries whose values do not coincide with our own and that are prone to experience continued political instability and perhaps social collapse.”
Texas has four operating nuclear reactors, and several companies have announced their plans to submit license applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build and operate up to seven new reactors.
“Nuclear is a domestic energy technology with fuel from the U.S. or reliable trading partners, and it is clearly in our national interest to maintain and expand nuclear energy in this nation for the generation of electricity,” Bowman said.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at http://www.nei.org