Energy mix need not leave out nuke power — former Energy chief

NUCLEAR power will be a “good part” of the country’s energy mix, but issues need to be resolved on how it can work in a deregulated environment, a former Energy secretary said.

“On a general principle, nuclear power — take away public acceptance — as a technology, in terms of supporting your supply, is a good part of the energy mix,” said Francisco L. Viray, Department of Energy (DoE) secretary from Sept. 1994 to June 1998.

Mr. Viray, who is president and chief executive officer of Phinma Energy Corp., said setting aside concerns such as safety and nuclear waste disposal, could also bring down electricity cost, although qualifying that he has no updated data on how much cheaper it is compared to coal in terms of supplying baseload or reliable power.

“The only thing I can remember is that… power is so cheap that we don’t have to meter it anymore,” he said, recalling previous assessments on the impact on cost.

However, Mr. Viray said he could not see how nuclear power would fit in a deregulated sector.

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