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The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Task Force on the Future of US Nuclear Energy Leadership

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Throughout 2018, Scott Campbell, the Office Managing Shareholder of Baker Donelson's Washington office and President of the The Howard Baker Forum President, served on the Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership convened by the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center. The Task Force consisted of experts, policy makers, and industry participants from across the US nuclear energy sector. Notably, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) served as honorary co-chairs. The Task Force met numerous times throughout the year to discuss the current state of the US nuclear energy industry, the emergence of advanced mall fast reactors as well as China's and Russia's push into the international nuclear power markets.

This week the Task Force published its findings in a report titled: US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge. The central conclusion of the report is that "the United States should mount a determined national mission to regain US leadership by developing, demonstrating, and deploying a new generation of reactors, while maintaining the current nuclear fleet and meeting national standards for safe operation and international standards for proliferation resistance."

The Task Force put forth three immediate action recommendations for the Executive Office of the President, including the National Security Council, National Economic Council, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy. These are:

  1. Maintain and expand the domestic nuclear fleet, both preserving and strengthening the US civilian nuclear industry and its supply chain and research base.
     
  2. Create a conducive environment for new technologies.
     
  3. Encourage and facilitate exports.

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