Will the American Nuclear Industry Lose Footing to an Eager World?

As U.S. soil continues to be a sensational battleground for a rabidly politicized energy debate, the rest of the world is marshalling for the throne. Resting for decades on the laurels of being the planet’s leading nuclear authority, a hysterical new wave has cascaded from the shores of California to Rockport, Maine, embroiling the United States in murky questions over its nuclear future—and the envious eyes of the east have been watching.

Consider this: China and Russia, dubious regimes who’ve long coveted the American global empire, combine to build two out of every three new nuclear reactors around the world. As NEI president and CEO Maria Korsnick mentioned in her 2019 State of the Industry Address, “They are making massive investments, expanding their domestic fleet, and developing new technologies. Their efforts to promote nuclear power internationally are core parts of their foreign policy … and America is falling behind”. And where there’s blood, the sharks are soon to follow—Poland, Jordan, and the Czech Republic are all making advances for expanding their nuclear markets; in Saudi Arabia the country’s first nuclear reactor gleamed the light of day at a massive facility on the outskirts Riyadh. Heavy lies the crown indeed, and the world waits for nothing—it will simply pass you by in the wind.

Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to unweave the naiveté of political infighting over nuclear energy in the U.S.—this is now the land of shouting logic into shadows. So what can be done to bolster our nuclear industry, what can be done to keep us ahead of the snarling pack? Improved export financing is one avenue, Mrs. Korsnick highlights, “Without a fully functioning Export-Import Bank, US nuclear suppliers can't even compete in a global market on international tenders. This year, we hope the Senate confirms a quorum on the bank's board and we hope Congress will reauthorize the bank itself," she said.

Ultimately though, the battle will not be fought in courts or on legislative parchment—it will be fought in the collective American mind. What began with The China Syndrome and Three Mile Island in 1979, has reached full bloom in the mouth of the Green New Deal, it has ratcheted to new octaves off the screeching lips of those who suddenly find themselves ravenous for clean energy—though this author must admit his skepticism as to whether these new screechers actually believe in what they’re demanding, or if they simply joined the circus because it was passing through. As the largest source of clean energy in the country, any future for the American grid must include nuclear—therefore a persuasive battle must be waged for the prevalence of common sense among the American mind. As Mrs. Korsnick lays plainly for all to see, “The math is simple, really. If we want to stop the surge of polluting emissions, we have to start investing more in making our most reliable energy option even better. Protecting our energy, economy and environment means that nuclear isn't optional at all."

Otek has long pledged its support to the nuclear industry, and now as a Class 1E company, we’ve reinvigorated that pledge with our latest invention, the Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM). Built without critical digital assets such as microprocessors and using CMOS logic, the SSAM is designed to replace obsolete analog and digital meters in a nuclear I&C room form, fit, and function using the same wiring, panels, and only minimal training for operators, as a cyber security exempt technology. We’re committed to strengthening America’s nuclear fleet, meter by meter.

For more information on the SSAM and Otek’s promise to the nuclear industry, or any of our products, please call our office at (520) 748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.