One of the nation's nuclear leaders, Entergy Chief Nuclear Officer John Herron, encouraged future business leaders to seriously consider the nuclear energy in terms of career opportunities and future energy policy. Eager to access industry CEOs, Harvard students heard a simple and memorable message from Herron: Nuclear energy is "sexy" in its appeal for the future. The Harvard Business School held the Energy Symposium 2010, “Changing the Balance: Our Energy Future” on October 23-24.
With the transformation of the country's energy policy, innovation of the U.S. electric grid and the addition of new power sources being imminent, the Entergy Nuclear leader spoke frankly about the green power path of nuclear to a standing room crowd at the HBS Energy Symposium.
"The financial challenges, the need for clear energy policy and the imperative to evaluate clean, baseload options to serve our country makes it a particularly exciting time to be in the nuclear power profession," Herron said. "Nuclear is the way to go."
Herron joined a prestigious lineup of energy sector thought-leaders on a panel including Sheeraz Haji, president of the Cleantech Group; Edward McGinnis, deputy assistant secretary, Department of Energy; Thomas Flaherty, senior vice president of the North American utility business for Booz & Company; Lisa Clark, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and moderator Dr. Mathew Bunn, associate professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
The student questions and discussions circled around the issues of having the political will to implement a solution to the long-term fuel storage issue and the nation's commitment to move to a cleaner energy policy by supporting nuclear and new nuclear building.
"Public education is the key," Herron repeated to 28 selected students in a luncheon that followed the panel. If
you believe in reducing our carbon footprint, in energy independence and in creating jobs for our economy then
nuclear power is the answer. It's time we got this message out.”
Nuclear energy provides 20.2 percent of the United States' electricity and is its No. 1 source of emission-free electricity. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the United States in 31 states generating more than 798 billion kilowatt-hours in 2009. In seven states, nuclear makes up the largest percentage of their electricity generated: Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, South Carolina, Illinois, New Hampshire and Virginia
“We have got to do a better job of educating the general public and policy-makers. Financial incentives are helping renewables, which are only a small piece of our clean air energy challenge,” Herron continued. “License renewals and new nuclear are needed, but politics and economics aren’t always aligned to support our industry in these important efforts. If our country is serious about clean energy then it is time to get serious about expansion of nuclear energy,” he concluded. Entergy Nuclear operates or provides management services to 12 reactors in eight states.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.
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