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New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…
Recent posts

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Energy Diversity Strengthens the United States. How Should We Pay for It?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the body that sets the rules for the competitive energy markets around the country, will soon take up a proposal from the Department of Energy (DOE) to adjust the pricing system, to ensure the survival of electricity generators that keep at least 90 days of fuel on hand. The department believes the current trend of unusually low power prices is pushing more of these plants, including nuclear reactors, into early retirement, and threatening the power grid’s resiliency and reliability.

At the heart of the DOE’s proposal is the idea that everybody values resilience, but at the moment, nobody pays for it. In the electricity markets today, consumers pay for energy, and they pay for capacity – that is, the ability to make energy when needed. They pay for other services on the grid, like voltage control, that keep the electrons flowing smoothly. But there isn’t a mechanism to pay for resiliency, which the federal government defines as “the ability to…

NEI Praises Connecticut Action in Support of Nuclear Energy

Earlier this week, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed SB-1501 into law, legislation that puts nuclear energy on an equal footing with other non-emitting sources of energy in the state’s electricity marketplace.

“Gov. Malloy and the state legislature deserve praise for their decision to support Dominion’s Millstone Power Station and the 1,500 Connecticut residents who work there," said NEI President and CEO Maria Korsnick. "By opening the door to Millstone having equal access to auctions open to other non-emitting sources of electricity, the state will help preserve $1.5 billion in economic activity, grid resiliency and reliability, and clean air that all residents of the state can enjoy," Korsnick said.

Korsnick continued, "Connecticut is the third state to re-balance its electricity marketplace, joining New York and Illinois, which took their own legislative paths to preserving nuclear power plants in 2016. Now attention should turn to Columbus, where leader…

Energy Markets Are Blind to Critical Factors in the Electric Grid

Using the short-term energy markets to make long-term decisions about the electric grid will irreversibly damage the system’s diversity and resiliency, the nuclear industry told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday, as the Commission prepared to take up a request by the Secretary of Energy to reform the rules for regional electricity pricing.

The markets are well set up to minimize short-term electricity costs, but they are blind to “critical non-price factors, such as resiliency, fuel diversity and environmental performance,” the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the industry’s trade association, said in comments filed Monday with the Commission, known as FERC.


FERC sets the ground rules for the competitive energy markets that are now in place over more than half the country. But those rules have turned crucial decisions over to a very narrow set of considerations, as if the system operated in a “price-only vacuum,” NEI said in its comments.

The markets set prices that re…

Conflicting Government Rules Are Damaging the Power Grid

One of the strengths of the electric system is its diversity, with energy flowing from generators that use a variety of fuels. But conflicting government policies and poorly constructed markets are reducing that diversity, and the result will be electricity that is more expensive, more prone to price spikes, and less reliable, according to a new study.

The problem may not be immediately evident to consumers, for whom the light switch on the wall is like a water faucet connected to a vast system of reservoirs and feeder streams. As long as the water comes out, the user doesn’t really care where each drop came from. The consumer is well served by the diversity of supply, even if the diversity isn’t obvious.

The same is true for electric current.

But the power grid is changing, according to a report issued Tuesday by the economic analysis firm IHS Markit, Ensuring Resilient and Efficient Electricity Generation: The Value of the Current Diverse U.S. Power Supply Portfolio, which lays out…