As the largest domestic source of low-carbon energy, nuclear power is making major contributions toward meeting our nation’s current and future energy demands. The United States must continue to ensure improvements and access to this technology so we can meet our economic, environmental and energy security goals. We rely on nuclear energy because it provides a consistent, reliable and stable source of base load electricity with an excellent safety record in the United States. To support nuclear energy’s continued and expanded role in our energy platform, therefore, the United States must continually improve its knowledge, technology, and policy in order to:
- Support the safe and secure use of nuclear energy and its associated technologies.
- Support transportation, storage and disposal of used nuclear fuel and associated wastes
- Enhance the safety of nuclear energy and stored used nuclear fuel in response to extreme events (e.g., the events at Fukushima-Daiichi have raised calls to develop technologies that improve accident tolerance).
- Improve the long-term sustainability of nuclear energy.
The use of nuclear energy in the U.S. has generated over 60,000 tons of used nuclear fuel and continues to generate approximately 2,000 additional tons per year. The Federal government has the responsibility for management of the nation’s commercial used nuclear fuel up to and including permanent disposal.