Power Company Execs Stand up for Nuclear Power

In conference calls, interviews and other public statements, CEOs from some of the largest U.S. utilities said last week that the effects of the nuclear crisis in Japan on the broader nuclear industry were unknown, but that nuclear power should remain a part of the country’s long-term energy plans.

On Wednesday, Public Service Energy Group (PSEG) CEO William Lewis said nuclear power would continue to be an important part of U.S. energy production despite the events in Japan. While cautioning that the industry depends on both regulatory and public support, Dow Jones news service quoted him as saying "new plants will be able to stand up and show why they are designed appropriately for the events that we saw ... At the end of the day, when you really look at the impact of this from a public health standpoint, nuclear will stand tall."

John W. Rowe, Exelon’s CEO expressed similar confidence in a conference call last week with investors. “Nothing obvious needs to be changed” at the company’s 17 reactors, he said, emphasizing his confidence in their safety measures.

NRG Chief Executive David Crane said it was too soon to predict the impact of the multiple-reactor emergency still unfolding at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following an earthquake and tsunami two weeks ago. He made a point to emphasize, though, that loan guarantees from the government were critical to expanding nuclear and renewable sources of energy in the U.S. Without them, he said, the power industry would be “all gas all the time,” according to a story Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal.

NRG is a partner in a project to build two new reactors at the South Texas Project near Houston, an effort recently put on hold as damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant owner Tepco is a potential investor.

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  • Anonymous

    Hello - are these the same industry experts that said the radiation would never reach the United States,? Well it has been raining down since the 14th of March at gross beta CPM levels from125 to 800 and yet it wasn’t until today that energy experts said well it’s here now and in amounts well below those harmful to humans - what are the amounts it seems there are no numbers being released, in most markets monitors are "down for maintenance" Harvard Professors say that no amount above back ground levels has proved to be safe, are you going to let us soak it up with no cares? I guess since 27 plants can dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive water into the rivers without public notification a little beta in the thyroid want hurt us - if you can’t disclose the facts and treat us like humans then you have no right to keep operating as an industry - T