Jeff Johnson, Chemical & Engineering News: The U.S. appears to be witnessing the slow death of nuclear power. Plants are aging out and retiring, and their place in the electricity marketplace is being captured by cheaper, simpler, and less controversial sources—particularly natural gas plants and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska: As our nuclear leadership declines, we are simultaneously losing our ability to influence security and nonproliferation decisions. Taking our place — but not always sharing our views — are countries that could put world security interests at risk. After inventing commercial nuclear power, the U.S. has now clearly fallen behind. Yet we can still turn the tide and restore our influence, particularly if we pursue the development of advanced reactors.
Clinton Crackel, Co-Founder, Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition: According to the EIA, as of 2017 in the U.S., nuclear power on the utility scale has the highest average capacity factor (reliability, also stated as CF) of 92%, while geothermal is rated at 76.4% and coal is rated at 53.5%. The optimum CFs for wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) are 36.7%, 27% and 21.8%, respectively.
Praveen Duddu: Eight of the 10 largest wind farms in the world are operated in the US, with five situated in Texas alone. Just one offshore wind farm has made to the list, while all others are onshore. Power-technology.com profiles the world's 10 largest wind farms based on installed capacity.
Andrzej Strupczewski, Chairman of Nuclear Safety Commission at National Centre for Nuclear Research, Poland: Fear is dominating practically every discussion on consequences of the Fukushima accident. The largest earthquake ever noted in Japan’s history followed by a disastrous tsunami hit on March 11, 2011. Both these calamites destroyed the entire province, moved Japan isles by 4 metres (!) and killed almost 20,000 people. Reports of UN agencies (including World Health Organization and the UNSCEAR Scientific Committee) unanimously state that no health consequences have been or will ever be detected – even within Fukushima neighbourhoods most exposed to the radiation.