Nuclear Power and Baseload

Meeting Base Load Needs in the Face of Carbon Constraints
Session Three: Nuclear—Status in the Midwest

July 31, 2009
Tong Auditorium, Engineering Centers Building

In an effort to replace greenhouse gas emitting fuels as well as enhance energy supply diversity, attention has increasingly turned to renewable portfolio standards and the addition of a price on carbon. At the same time, projections for base load demand over the mid to long term show that new generation capacity will have to be added. What strategies can utilities adopt to meet base load demand while satisfying constraints on carbon?

While a complete attempt to answer this question will necessitate an examination of all the alternatives, this program will specifically assess the role of nuclear power. After a hiatus of three decades, more than twenty new nuclear reactors are undergoing licensing in the U.S. Meanwhile, over thirty are currently being built worldwide, and countries that have previously rejected nuclear, most notably Sweden, have again begun to consider the nuclear option.

At the same time, the development of new nuclear plants raises a number of questions. With large capital requirements, storage of spent fuel, and concerns for accidents, and non-proliferation, the addition of new nuclear capacity is far from certain.

What is the role of nuclear power in the future energy portfolio of the region?

This is the third in a series of workshops designed to explore base load options—workshop one will examine the role of renewables and workshop two, fossil based options.


  • Jeff Kitsembel, Public Service Commission Wisconsin – Public Service Commission on Nuclear
  • Paul Wilson, University of Wisconsin, Madison - Post Yucca Mountain—Blessing or Curse
  • John Parkyn, Private Fuel Storage LLC – General Accounting Office Study on Spent Fuel – Interim Storage Option Input
  • Harold Ray, Southern California Edison – How Does or Can Nuclear Fit into the Future Base Load Portfolio?
  • Bruce Landrey, NuScale Power, INC. - Changing the Rules of the Game: A Nuclear Plant for $2 Billion?
  • Richard Cortright, Standard and Poor’s – Would You Invest in a Nuclear Power Plant?

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