Energy

America’s Nuclear Industry Expects A Boom Under Trump

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

America’s nuclear power and uranium mining industries are set for a boom under President-elect Donald Trump.

Industry experts suspect that Trump will be extremely pro-nuclear power and that his administration will limit strict regulations from the EPA.

“Trump’s election seems to have provided a boost to the uranium industry and its highly likely that nuclear power will be at the forefront of his administration’s energy mix,” Harry Anthony, president of the Uranium Producers of America, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In addition, based on the selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head EPA, Trump seems primed to return the agency to sanity and sound environmental science.”

Trump has been consistently pro-nuclear power. Directly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he reasserted his confidence in the power source, saying, “I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.”

“New leadership at EPA will fundamentally improve the health and well-being of the uranium industry,” Anthony told TheDCNF. “Under the Obama Administration, the EPA had been proposing new rules and regulations that had the potential to devastate our industry.”

Anthony and others in the nuclear and uranium industries feel they were repeatedly targeted with hostile regulations by federal agencies. The nuclear industry’s biggest problem, “has been negative sentiment rather than real fundamentals, but the Trump presidency will see through that,” according to the energy market site OilPrice.com.

“Uranium prices are expected to rise significantly,” Anthony continued. “In 2017, the uncommitted demand for uranium is approximately 12 million lbs compared to about 500,000 lbs this past year (2016).”

Additionally, extremely advanced and unconventional nuclear reactor designs could create a huge market for nuclear power, causing a boom in both industries.

“The utilization of new technology has always a part of the uranium/nuclear industry and will continue to be the case well into the future,” Anthony said. “These technological advancements will still require a reliable supply of uranium and as a result, the demand will increase and uranium prices will climb. ”

Other good news for the American nuclear industry is that political opposition from outgoing Nevada Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama will evaporate once Trump takes office. Reid and Obama prevented the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site from opening, leaving nuclear plants without a good place to store spent fuel.

Such opposition created legal liabilities for the federal government that could exceed $50 billion.

America operates 99 nuclear reactors across 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average plant employs between 400 and 700 highly skilled workers, has a payroll of about $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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