Office of Nuclear Energy

Breakthroughs: The Untold Story of Nuclear as a Clean Energy Enabler

May 28, 2019

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I’m excited to be in Vancouver, Canada this week to participate in the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).

This forum brings together the top energy officials in the world to help advance clean energy policies, programs and technologies.

Thanks to the Trump Administration and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, that focus has broadened in recent years to include nuclear energy, which provides a third of the world’s emissions-free electricity.

The Untold Story of Nuclear

The United States and Canada released a new book at CEM under the NICE Future initiative called "Breakthroughs: Nuclear Innovation in a Clean Energy System." It’s a collection of short stories that focuses on near-term innovations in nuclear energy.

This is not a typical policy report.

It’s a starting point for people to examine the many ways countries can utilize nuclear in future clean energy systems as:

  • A flexible energy source ready to work with renewables and energy storage
  • A clean heat and power source used for hard-to-clean sectors in transportation and industry
  • A driver of economic growth and an option for countries looking to alleviate energy access issues.

Read the full version here:

About the Authors

"Breakthroughs" was put together by the NICE Future initiative to help increase global awareness about the potential roles that nuclear energy could play in future energy systems. 

The NICE Future initiative is led by the United States, Canada and Japan and strives to engage, inform and build partnerships around nuclear innovation to help broaden the discussion on clean energy technologies.

Since its inception in 2018, the initiative has engaged individuals from more than 80 organizations from more than 35 countries and attracted six new member countries.

Workers inspect a nuclear fuel assembly being loaded into a nuclear reactor.
The world's first complete, fueled and full-length test assemblies of advanced technology fuels were installed in 2019 by Southern Nuclear at Plant Vogtle Unit 2 in Georgia.
Southern Nuclear

An All-of-the-Above Approach

The innovations highlighted in "Breakthroughs" are well underway in America.

More than 50 U.S. companies are working on designs that are smaller, scalable, versatile and even mobile—providing far greater access to nuclear power than ever before.

New manufacturing techniques are also being developed that could rapidly reduce the time and money it takes to develop new advanced reactors and fuels.

The NICE Future initiative fits perfectly into our “all-of-the-above” approach to American energy.

This strategy continues to drive innovation, spur our economy, and protect the environment.

Nuclear currently generates around 20% of our country’s power and more than half of its clean energy. It’s a critical part of our diverse energy portfolio in the United States and an important piece to the future global clean energy puzzle.

But it can’t do it alone, nor should it.   

We must work together to make sure ALL clean and innovative technologies are included in our emissions-free future.

Learn more about the NICE Future initiative.