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WASHINGTON (November 8, 2023) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners today released a new report, Nuclear Generation in Long-Term Utility Resource Planning, which analyzes 17 utility integrated resource plan (IRP) filings to identify important trends regarding nuclear energy for consideration by state utility regulators.
Clean energy demands and decarbonization goals have placed existing nuclear energy generation and the potential for advanced nuclear energy at the forefront of discussions surrounding the energy transition. Advanced nuclear reactors not only share beneficial characteristics with the current nuclear fleet but also offer distinct advantages including improved load-following capability, modularity, a smaller land-use footprint, new safety features and low operating costs.
As advanced nuclear technologies mature, electric utilities are considering the role of advanced nuclear in their generation portfolios and IRPs. Through the IRP process, regulated utilities convey long-term generation investment decisions to state utility regulators.
“Understanding the potential of advanced nuclear is incredibly important for state regulators as nuclear energy is a key steppingstone in reaching clean energy and decarbonization goals,” said Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who co-chairs NARUC’s Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues - Waste Disposal and the Department of Energy-NARUC Nuclear Energy Partnership. “It gives regulators the opportunity to see firsthand to what extent utilities are considering advanced nuclear as a part of their energy generation, enhancing the ability to prepare for regulatory needs in this area.”
In this report, the authors identify three overarching trends from their analyses of 17 utility IRP filings submitted between August 2019 and March 2023. Here is a summary of those trends:
These findings will help state regulators consider the current and future role of nuclear energy in generation portfolios for utilities across the United States.
“Nuclear Generation in Long-Term Utility Resource Planning represents the NARUC Center for Partnerships and Innovation’s mission of assisting state commissioners contending with complex and emerging issues by providing insights on utilities’ planning for advanced nuclear generation implementation,” said CPI Senior Director Danielle Sass Byrnett. “We are excited to provide this timely resource with findings to help NARUC members understand how utilities and peers across the country are considering advanced nuclear among promising emerging energy technologies.”
Nuclear Generation in Long-Term Utility Resource Planning was produced with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy via the DOE-NARUC Nuclear Energy Partnership.
Download and read the report at https://bit.ly/3Qs54fZ.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.