The U.S. nuclear industry is coming off its best year ever. Electricity production from nuclear plants hit at an all-time high in 2019 as we led the world in generating more than 809 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to power more than 66 million homes.
Yet, despite operating the largest fleet of reactors in the world at the highest level in the industry, our ability to produce domestic nuclear fuel is on the verge of a collapse.
Our uranium miners are eager for work, the nation’s only uranium conversion plant is idle due to poor market conditions, and our inability to compete with foreign state-owned enterprises (most notably from China and Russia) is not only threatening our energy security but weakening our ability to influence the peaceful uses of nuclear around the world.
This is not an easy problem to fix, but the United States has a plan.
Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage
The strategy for Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage was recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to preserve and grow the entire U.S. nuclear enterprise. It’s a direct result of the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, established by President Donald J. Trump, to address the challenges facing our nuclear fuel cycle.