This week at a conference in Washington hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, executive chairman of Chicago-based Exelon spoke about the needs of the nuclear industry post-Fukushima, noting that current economic conditions raise “very serious questions” about the possibility of building new reactors without substantial government support.
Mayo Shattuck III said that U.S. utilities will need government help to build nuclear reactors as other forms of electric power become less expensive, a loud warning from a top member of America’s largest commercial producer of nuclear energy. “Even the existing fleet is feeling a little bit of the pressure in this kind of environment,” he admitted.
Shattuck is a long-time card-holding nuclear jack of all trades having worked for multiple lobbyist organizations including the Edison Electric Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.
Building reactors may require “the sovereign support of that state, which really means it’s on the backs of the ratepayers, not the backs of the shareholders,” Shattuck added. State support may include letting companies recover costs from customers during construction, providing loan guarantees or agreeing to buy power from the plant.
Exelon has currently no working plans to build more nuclear reactors.
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