|Nuclear Electric Power
Approved: July 2011
NSPE believes that the United States should lead the world in the advancement and use of nuclear power. Green, clean, renewable nuclear power systems will provide an important component in our efforts to reduce our nation's reliance on foreign oil imports and to reduce the releases of harmful pollutants. The United States—in which 104 commercial nuclear reactors provide 20% of the nation's electrical power—is the world's largest producer of nuclear electric power.
NSPE believes that licensed professional engineers should be required to have direct supervision over all engineering design, operations, and maintenance decisions at nuclear power plants. Though the nuclear energy industry has an excellent safety record, thanks in part to strict regulation, comprehensive safety planning, and rigorous training and qualification standards for employees, it is an inherently dangerous industry. An accident at a nuclear facility would cause serious harm to people, their livelihoods, and the environment. This potential for disaster necessitates an additional degree of protection for the public health and safety.
NSPE supports the prompt final formulation of a nuclear waste management plan to ensure public confidence in the ongoing development of our new commercial reactors. NSPE also supports the federal loan guarantees that are providing the impetus for licensing, constructing and operating the first wave of a renaissance of new nuclear electric power plants in the United States.
Finally, NSPE supports Department of Energy plans to design and construct a prototype of a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Major fuel value remaining in spent fuel after the first reactor burn cycle must be recovered for use in new electric power plants.