DoE: Nuclear Power 2010
New baseload nuclear generating capacity is required to enhance U.S. energy supply diversity and energy security. The Nuclear Power 2010 program (NP2010), unveiled by the Secretary of Energy on February 14, 2002, is a joint government/industry cost-shared effort to identify sites for new nuclear power plants, develop and bring to market advanced nuclear plant technologies, evaluate the business case for building new nuclear power plants, and demonstrate untested regulatory processes. Accomplishing these program objectives paves the way for an industry decision to build new advanced light water reactor nuclear plants in the United States that would begin operation in the middle of the next decade. The Department is actively engaged with the industry to address the issues affecting future expansion of nuclear generation.
Nuclear power plants generate 20 percent of the electricity produced in this country; however, all recent electric-generating capacity additions and projected future additions are primarily fueled by natural gas. Despite the excellent performance of current nuclear plants and decisions by power plant owners to seek license renewal and power uprates, no new plant has been ordered in this country for more than 25 years.