With growing concerns over the climate and heated debates on grid reliability, the narrative on nuclear is starting to shift.
More and more people are starting to realize that the nation’s largest and most reliable source of clean energy must be in the mix to help America meet its future energy needs.
The next decade will be crucial for the industry as it desperately tries to bridge the gap between its current fleet of reactors and new designs that are smaller, more flexible and cheaper to build.
Here are five storylines to watch for in 2019.
1. Accident tolerant fuel testing
Accident tolerant fuels are new, robust fuels that have the potential to improve plant performance and survive longer in accident conditions.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with industry on an aggressive timeframe to commercialize these fuels by 2025.
Framatome, General Electric and Westinghouse are testing their concepts in commercial reactors in 2019—an important step in licensing the fuels.
If these projects stay on track, they could help make the case for utilities to extend operating licenses on reactors that are set to expire in the 2030s.
View the full story at the official Office of Nuclear Energy site.