OECD NEA director general presents an optimistic vision for tomorrow despite challenges of today

November 1, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Magwood

As part of the Purdue University–Duke Energy Understanding Tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy lecture series, William D. Magwood IV, director general of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), delivered a lecture on October 24 at the Purdue Memorial Union Ballrooms. “The 21st Century Nuclear Resurgence: Opportunities and Challenges” was the third lecture in the series, which focuses on small modular reactors.

Magwood reviewed the factors that have led to the current increased interest in nuclear energy around the world, the serious challenges that must be quickly and adequately addressed, and the structural barriers that require new thinking by regulators and policymakers. He also commented on the ongoing Purdue-Duke study of the feasibility of using SMRs to meet the West Lafayette campus’s long-term energy needs.

Essay: Inflation and interest rates threaten nuclear new-build future

September 15, 2022, 7:07AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Interest rates have an outsized impact on nuclear power costs compared to those for other methods of power generation. (Source: World Nuclear Association)

In an essay titled “How the Fed will Strangle New Nukes,” published this week by American Thinker, nuclear engineer and writer Joseph Somsel warns that despite current expectations of a nuclear construction boom, “As in the late 1970s, rising interest rates will put the kibosh on new nukes.” Somsel therefore urges the financing and building of new nuclear facilities right now, before ongoing inflation and increasingly high interest rates “kill a lot of the plans” for new nuclear power plants.