As a member of the House Committees on Intelligence and Homeland Security, and as a former CIA officer, I understand the critical role that the U.S. nuclear energy industry plays in enabling our country to meet its national security objectives. Yet, the Center for Strategic & Industry Studies (CSIS) has reported that the nuclear industry is struggling to survive.
Our country’s positioning in the dangerous geopolitical environment is reliant on nuclear energy. Countries across the globe look to the U.S. as a leader in nuclear energy, ultimately diminishing the influence of adversarial countries such as Iran and Russia.
However, our nation’s international nuclear leadership is in jeopardy. Right now, approximately 70% of nuclear power plants under construction are of Russian or Chinese origin. Additionally, half of U.S. nuclear power plants are facing potential premature shutdown due to the current global energy market structure. In fact, earlier this year a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that nearly a quarter of our nation’s fleet of nuclear power reactors are at risk of early closure in the next few years.
Once a power reactor has been closed that decision cannot be reversed. We must take this threat to our energy and national security seriously. Now is the time to rebuild our country’s nuclear energy capabilities, and in turn make the United States safer and stronger in the process.