DOE releases plan for clean energy supply chain

March 2, 2022, 12:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy last week released America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition, billed by the DOE as “the first-ever comprehensive plan to ensure security and increase [the nation’s] energy independence.”

The 76-page document was produced in response to President Biden’s February 2021 executive order on U.S. supply chains, which called for a plethora of department reports on the subject, including one from the DOE on supply chains for the energy-sector industrial base.

What they’re saying: “Taking bold action to invest in our supply chains means America will reap the tremendous opportunities that tackling climate change presents to kickstart domestic manufacturing and help secure our national, economic, and energy security,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The strength of a nation relies on resilient and reliable critical supply chains across sectors, and DOE’s report provides the key strategies and recommendations for Congress and the federal government to act now to help deliver more jobs and a stronger, cleaner future.

The nuclear sector: Accompanying the general report are 13 issue-specific “deep dive assessments,” including one on the nuclear energy supply chain. “The strength of the nuclear supply chain is directly tied to the strength and growth of the nuclear energy sector,” the authors of the report note in their executive summary. “A strong and growing nuclear energy sector is needed for a strong supply chain. Therefore, the needs, risks, opportunities, and challenges discussed in this report extend beyond uranium and input material supply to address reactor license extensions, retirements due to low electricity prices and other factors, growth opportunities, global competition from state-owned enterprises, intergovernmental agreements, long-term nuclear waste policy, and other interrelated issues.”

Authors of the 65-page nuclear assessment include Ashley Finan, director of the National Reactor Innovation Center; Andrew Foss, a technical program lead at Idaho National Laboratory; Michael Goff, a senior advisor in the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy; Christine King, director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear; and Christopher Lohse, GAIN’s innovation and technology manager.

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