America’s reliance on nuclear power is poised to rapidly expand given a new generation of more affordable small modular reactors (SMR). In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Maria Korsnick who is the President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. The conversation focuses on how SMRs can deliver carbon-free energy.
“We are about 90 gigawatts of generation today so it will be an additional 90 gigawatts of generation and because we’re talking more small modular reactors, that 90 gigawatts could turn into about 300 SMRs that would be added to the grid,” said Korsnick.
According to Korsnick, nuclear power will increasingly replace fossil fuel generation plants that contribute to climate change and nuclear power is needed to supplement solar and wind power.
“Imagine nuclear really forming the backbone of that clean-energy, highly-reliable grid upon which the intermittent resources can also be added.”
The 300 small reactors built out in the next two decades would triple the number of nuclear power plants in the nation and help lower the cost of transitioning away from carbon.
“It’s very, very clear when you add nuclear to the mix, the overall system cost is reduced.”
Maria Korsnick has been NEI’s President and CEO since 2017 where she draws on her engineering background, hands-on experience in reactor operations, and a deep knowledge of energy policy and regulatory issues to increase understanding of nuclear energy’s economic and environmental benefits among policymakers and the public.
Korsnick previously served as the NEI’s COO. She has been in the energy industry since 1986 working in various roles for Constellation Energy and then Exelon Nuclear.
Korsnick holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland and has held a senior reactor operator license.