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Nuclear Energy is Critical for Texas’ ‘All-of-the-Above’ Approach to Energy Dominance

As we approach another scorching Texas summer, the demand for electricity is poised to reach unprecedented levels. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has already issued a warning of heightened stress on the grid in August, underscoring the urgent need to continue expanding our capacity to generate reliable power to support the incredible population and business growth we’ve seen in recent years – with no signs of slowing down.


Texas prides itself on a diversified energy portfolio that includes renewables like solar and wind power alongside traditional fossil fuels. With new data center facilities coming online across the state to support increasing demand for cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other new technologies that businesses need to enhance their operations, the demand for new generation to power these projects is also increasing. Therefore, it is strongly in our state’s interest to bring on as much new power generation from as many sources as possible, including through new nuclear power generation, to ensure we can maintain our world-class business environment.


Currently, nuclear energy accounts for approximately 10% of Texas’ total power generation. Yet, technological advancements offer immense potential for expansion. Nuclear power stands out as a dispatchable, carbon-free energy source—a crucial asset in our ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy dominance.


As the Dallas Morning News editorial board recently pointed out, nuclear energy stands to play a crucial role in supporting the resilience of the Texas grid amid booming economic growth:


“With population growth, business relocations and the addition of manufacturing plants, data centers and crypto mining activity, there is a strong argument for exploring nuclear energy in Texas…One option already available is the deployment of small modular reactors. One of these reactors can produce 300 megawatts of electricity and provide energy to 250,000 homes. This is the equivalent of 60,000 solar panels in residences. A wind turbine produces from 2 to 3 MW per unit.”


Recognizing the untapped potential in this sector, Governor Abbott tasked the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) with exploring advanced nuclear reactor options, affirming that:


“Nuclear energy is a proven, reliable, and dispatchable generation resource. It will become even more critical as Texas’ need for reliable power continues to grow. The State of Texas must plan now to best harness these new advanced technologies and ensure the future of the Texas grid and our position as the energy capital of the world.”


We are proud that TAB’s own Stephanie Matthews serves on the PUC’s Texas Advanced Nuclear Reactor Working Group, which is working diligently to deliver a comprehensive and actionable plan to make Texas the leader in nuclear energy. Matthews recognizes the broader importance of ensuring nuclear energy plays a more prominent role in Texas’ ‘all-of-the-above’ energy portfolio:


“Texas is well-positioned to maintain its status as the best place to build and grow a business. In order to sustain our current and projected growth, nuclear energy offers a long- term solution to deliver safe, clean and affordable energy to power the booming Texas economic landscape.”


The great news is that Texas’ private sector is already leading the charge in nuclear innovation. Dow Chemical Company’s proposed small modular reactor project at their Texas-based Seadrift facility is designed to deliver safe, reliable, and emissions-free power, which not only helps secure the company’s operational sustainability but also sets a precedent for industrial energy independence. Similarly, Fort Worth’s Paragon Energy Solutions’ collaboration with X-energy underscores Texas’ dedication to fostering technological advancements in nuclear energy, promising cleaner energy solutions for the future.


Our university leaders understand their central role in shaping Texas’ nuclear energy landscape. Key initiatives at our state’s premiere universities are already underway, including Abilene Christian University’s NEXT Lab and Texas A&M University’s CENTAUR consortium, which was recently awarded another five-year, $12.5 million Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Center of Excellence Program renewal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This is a win-win for Texas, as it allows our top researchers to drive innovation while cultivating the next generation of our nuclear energy workforce.


Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp also recently announced plans to develop two small nuclear reactors near its College Station campus, making clear that expanding Texas’ nuclear energy footprint will be key to shoring up our state’s energy grid while demonstrating the safety of modern reactors, saying:


“This effort at Texas A&M-RELLIS will usher in a new era of sustainable and reliable power generation.”


It is also deeply encouraging to see that Congress recently passed bipartisan legislation – the ADVANCE Act – to further strengthen America’s leadership in nuclear energy by encouraging more innovation and investment in nuclear technology. The Act, which is now on its way to President Biden’s desk, will streamline the permitting process for advanced nuclear reactors and promote the development of fusion energy technology, all with the goal of unleashing the benefits of nuclear energy while protecting safety and the environment.


Looking ahead, as Texas inevitably continues to experience rapid growth in both population and business activity, expanding our energy portfolio to include a larger share of nuclear power will become increasingly more important. Nuclear energy not only serves as a reliable source of power but also catalyzes economic growth and innovation.


By embracing nuclear technology, Texas can safeguard its energy security for future generations.




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