Nukes: U.S. Nuclear Industry Achieves Strong Performance Despite Many Challenges

Including White House stonewalling on loan guarantees.

From today’s Nuclear Energy Institute media release:

America’s nuclear energy facilities operated safely and reliably in 2011, with solid performance in electricity production and operating efficiency in spite of a year of numerous challenges from natural events in the United States and Japan.

In a briefing sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry told Wall Street financial analysts today that U.S. nuclear power plants were subjected in 2011 to extreme weather events that included a series of tornados, a major hurricane, Midwest flooding and an unusually large East Coast earthquake. But through all of these events, America’s nuclear energy facilities either continued operating or shut down safely when necessary.

“The nuclear plants posed no safety concern, despite billions of dollars of damaged infrastructure in other areas from these violent acts of nature,” said Marvin Fertel, NEI president and chief executive officer.

Even with last year’s extreme weather events and 11 more refueling outages in 2011 than the year before, preliminary data show that the nation’s 104 reactors produced nearly 790 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity with an electric sector-leading capacity factor of 89 percent, Fertel announced…

Politico also reports:

“The Office of Management and Budget has taken every opportunity, in our opinion, to hamstring this program, insisting on modeling assumptions that produced absurdly high and inflated fees,” Nuclear Energy Institute President Marv Fertel said during the group’s annual Wall Street briefing.

He added: “Loan guarantees are a tremendously efficient way to mobilize private capital. Properly administered and priced, the program could leverage tens of billions of dollars of private investment and produce hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to the federal government.”

Read the entire NEI release.