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Download Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Nuclear Technology Assessment (Fact Sheet)
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Date: 8/30/2012
Type: Brief
Status: Active
NETL Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.
Technology Focus Area(s):
Analysis Focus Area(s): GHG Mitigation
Author(s): Timothy J Skone (NETL)

Product Description
This analysis evaluates the role of nuclear power in the future energy portfolio of the U.S. Nuclear power is evaluated with respect to resource base, growth potential, environmental profile, costs, barriers, risks, and expert opinions. Nuclear power provides a stable source of baseload power in the U.S. with a greenhouse gas footprint similar to that of most renewable power sources. Maintaining the existing share of the U.S. electricity demand with nuclear power depends on the number of existing facilities that receive operating license extensions and the number of planned and approved new reactors that are actually constructed. The storage of spent nuclear fuel also continues to be a major concern since progress on the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository was halted in 2010. While the chances of adverse nuclear events are small and newer nuclear technologies are inherently safer than older technologies, the scale of a nuclear event can have far-reaching environmental and societal risks.