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"The United States will continue to promote the safe and secure use of nuclear power worldwide through a variety of bilateral and multilateral engagements. For example, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission advises international partners on safety and regulatory best practices, and the Department of Energy works with international partners on research and development, nuclear waste and storage, training, regulations, quality control, and comprehensive fuel leasing options. Going forward, we will expand these efforts to promote nuclear energy generation consistent with maximizing safety and nonproliferation goals." President Obama's Climate Action Plan

Nuclear Energy:

Nuclear reactors provide low-cost, carbon-free electricity to help drive the American economy and preserve the environment.  Nuclear energy provides almost 20 percent of the total United States electricity and 60 percent of its non-greenhouse gas emitting electricity. In addition, nuclear power plants do not release air pollutants, providing an important option for improving air quality.  Globally, nuclear energy is undergoing renewed growth, with more than 65 new reactors under construction in 14 countries. 

Today in the United States, a renewed interest in nuclear energy has resulted in construction of the first new nuclear reactor designs in over 30 years.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is actively reviewing license applications for the construction of new nuclear reactors.  Combined Construction and Operating Licenses have been awarded for 4 new reactors: two under construction in Georgia and two in South Carolina. All four utilize the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design.

Office of Nuclear Energy’s Technical Assistance:

The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) serves present and future U.S. energy needs by developing critical technologies for the future and helping to train tomorrow’s workforce. The benefits of nuclear power as a safe, carbon-free, reliable and secure source of energy make it an essential element in our Nation’s energy and environmental future.

NE supports the advancement of nuclear power as a resource capable of making major contributions in meeting our Nation’s energy supply, environmental, and energy security needs.  Additionally, NE provides technical assistance to states and communities as they develop strategic energy plans. 

Need Technical Assistance?

For questions on nuclear power and technical assistance, please contact NE Technical Assistance.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. What are the current reactor designs?
  2. What are small modular reactors?
    • Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are nuclear power plants that are smaller in size (300 MWe or less) than current generation base load plants.  These smaller, compact designs can be factory-fabricated and transported by truck or rail to a nuclear power site.  
       
  3. Where do I get more information on the  licensing process?
  4. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  5. VIDEO: NRC Licensing Process

Other Resources: