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Growing attention is being directed towards nuclear power plant economics, with the distinct likelihood of shuttering currently operating plants in the not-to-distant future. The Department of Energy is leading efforts to characterize and understand the causes of the economic challenges, and devise real-world solutions assuring clean and reliable energy from nuclear power is available for the American public. Two recent reports (linked below) prepared for the Department highlight and address these challenges. The first report, Summit on Improving the Economics of America's Nuclear Power Plants, represents a summary of the engaging dialog occurring at the May 19, 2016 Summit on Improving the Economics of America’s Nuclear Power Plants. A second report, Economic and Market Challenges Facing the U.S. Nuclear Commercial Fleet, released in September 2016 provides detailed analyses quantifying the gap between revenue from electricity production and the costs of operating and maintaining nuclear power plants. These reports may be useful to those interested in working to retain the clean energy source of nuclear power.
The mission of the Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) is to advance nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the nation's energy, environmental and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, proliferation resistance, and security barriers through research, development and demonstration ﴾RD&D﴿.
Accomplishing this mission will realize the enormous potential of nuclear energy and maintain the United States' historic leadership in the field. While many innovative ideas exist, the research, development and demonstration ﴾RD&D﴿ needed to bring these concepts to a commercial readiness level is traditionally lengthy and expensive.
Therefore, DOE-NE has established the
Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) to provide the nuclear community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet.
Why is GAIN needed?