In a year-end review of U.S. nuclear power for financial analysts, the industry’s trade group pointed to strong performance among the country’s 104 reactors.Despite flooding in the Midwest, tornadoes in the South, an earthquake in Virginia and a hurricane on the East Cost – not to mention an elevated number of refuelings – the Nuclear Energy Institute said nuclear power realized a sector-leading capacity factor of 89 percent.In the video above, NEI President Marvin Fertel outlines the challenges of the previous year and the outlook for 2012. He makes note of progress toward bringing new nuclear generation online at the Vogtle, V.C Summer and Watts Bar plants, as well as a poll conducted in September showing public favorability of nuclear power at 62 percent. Fertel also made the case for the industry-supported FLEX approach to reinforcing plant safety following the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.
The late Lando Zech when he was Chairman of the NRC took the bold step of promulgating 10 CFR Part 52 as an alternative to 10 CFR Part 50 for licensing new nuclear power plants. Over two decades later, the first combined construction permit/operating license has been issued using this new rule. Lando was truly a visionary in taking this action. He was a great American with the country's best interest at heart.