Recently, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) has raised concerns about the lack of technology neutrality in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Clean Power Plan Rule.” These rules admirably seek to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. by enforcing state-specific carbon limits. However, it appears that these proposed rules unfairly favor other renewable technologies, not giving nuclear energy an equal footing.
Remaining “technology neutral” has always been important to TerraPower. While we put our confidence in our traveling wave technology, we take pride in that we are not just another nuclear technology company. Rather, we think of ourselves as a technology company working in nuclear.
What’s the difference? We were founded to find the best technology solution for the world’s energy problem, not to promote nuclear energy.
We began without bias toward nuclear energy, or any other form of energy production. We simply searched for the best possible answer for the near-term creation of consistent, low-carbon, base load energy. After careful examination by an open-minded, interdisciplinary group of experts, nuclear energy was found to provide the best options, and traveling wave technology to be the most promising technology solution in the near term.
This basic premise continues to inform the way we do business. We are always on the lookout for new technology solutions and cutting-edge ideas, even outside the nuclear energy space. In fact, we have a small section of our staff dedicated to this type of “outside the box” thinking.
Technology neutrality is essential to all industries and, more importantly, the government. In our view, it is critical that all legislation or regulation remains performance-based and technology neutral, regardless of the industry. It is the role of industry and markets. This is the best way to encourage innovation and growth.
In light of our own commitment to technology neutrality, TerraPower firmly supports the efforts of ANS and asks the EPA to re-evaluate how it treats all energy sources in its proposed regulations. We also encourage others to research the issue and submit thoughts to the EPA before the Dec. 1, 2014 deadline.