Countries Attend Forum and Voice Optimism for Nuclear
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Jackson, Miss. – Nuclear
professionals and government officials gathered in a rare opportunity to address
nuclear power plant life management on a global level – that is, validating the
operational effectiveness of existing nuclear plants as licenses are extended.
Garry Young was the United States representative leading the host committee and
is the Director of License Renewal Services for Entergy. The International
Atomic Energy Agency only holds this global forum every five years and this was
the first time it was held in the U.S. convening in Salt Lake City last month.
“Our studies show that nuclear plants
are not ‘old and crumbling’ but well-maintained, viable operations with 20, 40
or even more years of safe electricity production ahead,” stated Young. “It was
interesting to hear other country’s representatives affirm this across the
globe, too. Even as countries like China are building new nuclear at a fast
pace, the importance of maintaining existing clean and safe nuclear generation
of electricity is critical to energy policies everywhere.”
The forum was organized by the IAEA
in cooperation with the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency and
hosted officially by the government of the United States of America including
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The United States Senate also
commended the NRC and DOE applauding efforts to “explore the increased role of
nuclear power plant life management in support of license renewal and the safe,
long-term operation of commercial nuclear reactors throughout the world.” The
Senate resolution 454 of the 112th U.S. Congress also encouraged IAEA Member
States to take advantage of the latest technology to further develop licensing
and safety programs to secure long-term success of nuclear electricity
“Time and again, we heard global acclamation for stringent plant life management
at this IAEA meeting. We must continue to educate regulators, governments and
our customers about how nuclear power plants are as good as new or better
because millions of dollars are poured into maintenance and improvements every
year,” said Entergy Vice President J. Randy Douet.
Most recently for the Entergy Nuclear
U.S. fleet, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power
Station and the Cooper Nuclear Station received 20 year license extensions by
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Cooper is owned by the Nebraska Public Power
District where Entergy has a support and management services contract.
According to the IAEA Power Reactor
Information System there are currently 436 commercial nuclear power reactors
operating worldwide, providing about 13 percent of the world's electricity.
Another 62 plants are under construction.
“As demand for electricity continues
to grow, nuclear licenses will need to be extended along with building new
nuclear generation in order to keep pace,” Young concluded.
The IAEA is the world's center of
cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as a global "Atoms for Peace"
organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The
Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote
safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated
energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail
distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with
approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the
second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers
electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and
approximately 15,000 employees.