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.
Brian Wang: China already generates 60% more electricity than the USA in 2018. China plans to double this by 2030. China wants to increase from 3-4% nuclear power for electricity to 10%. This will mean 300 GW of electricity in 2030. This would be about triple the US generation of nuclear electricity. Starting in 2010, China is now working on two very different thorium based molten salt reactor programs. One is based on liquid fuel, the other on molten salt cooled solid fuel. Both are designed for specific application areas.