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Author: Peter S. Hastings
A resurgence of the nuclear industry will require overcoming major challenges.
Electricity demand is outpacing supply growth, and experts have calculated that the United States will need new baseload power generation (including nuclear power generation) by 2010 (NEI, 2002a). As part of the Nuclear Power 2010 Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the Near-Term Deployment Group (NTDG) to examine prospects for new nuclear plants in the United States in the next decade. According to a recent study by NTDG, a resurgence of the nuclear industry will be influenced by many factors, including economic competitiveness; deregulation of the energy industry; regulatory efficiency; existing infrastructure; the national energy strategy; safety; management of spent fuel; public acceptance; and nonproliferation (DOE, 2001). NTDG also noted that the nuclear industry is experiencing current shortfalls in several important areas (DOE, 2001):