Robert F. Ichord

  • A Call for Action on US Nuclear Leadership: Reflections on the Atlantic Council’s Task Force Report

    The recently released Atlantic Council Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership report, entitled US Nuclear Leadership: Innovation and the Global Strategic Challenge, represents a year-long effort to examine the national security implications of nuclear power for the United States. The diverse mix of policy, regulatory, industry, utility, university, and environmental interests reflected in the Task Force contributed to a serious and wide-ranging consideration of four main issues:  saving the existing nuclear fleet; innovation and the development of a new generation of advanced reactors; challenges in the global market and the US export position; and nuclear fuel cycle and security concerns. Investigation of these policy areas led the Task Force to make three overarching recommendations: 1) maintain and expand the current fleet; 2) create a regulatory

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  • A Call for Action on US Nuclear Leadership: Reflections on the Atlantic Council’s Task Force Report

    The recently released Atlantic Council Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership report, entitled US Nuclear Leadership: Innovation and the Global Strategic Challenge, represents a year-long effort to examine the national security implications of nuclear power for the United States. The diverse mix of policy, regulatory, industry, utility, university, and environmental interests reflected in the Task Force contributed to a serious and wide-ranging consideration of four main issues:  saving the existing nuclear fleet; innovation and the development of a new generation of advanced reactors; challenges in the global market and the US export position; and nuclear fuel cycle and security concerns. Investigation of these policy areas led the Task Force to make three overarching recommendations: 1) maintain and expand the current fleet; 2) create a regulatory

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  • Nuclear Power Could Be the Key to a Secure Future, Senators Say

    The potential for nuclear power plants to provide substantial emissions-free energy on a reliable and cost-effective basis will be key to addressing a range of challenges facing the United States, from climate change to economic competition, US Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said on May 21.

    Speaking at the launch of an Atlantic Council report, “US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge,” at the US Senate Visitor Center in Washington, Crapo said that while “nuclear energy provides over half of our nation’s emissions-free energy… the United States is scheduled to lose a significant amount of its nuclear generation in the next decade.” Put simply, “Nuclear energy has been in need of a reboot for many years,” he said.


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  • Bell, Gordon, and Ichord in Axios: Risks are stacking up against the U.S. nuclear industry


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  • US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge

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    Throughout 2018, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center convened a “Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership,” which comprised civilian and military experts in foreign policy, defense, and nuclear energy. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) served as honorary co-chairs of the Task Force. This report, entitled “US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge,” is the result of these efforts.
    The Task Force found that a flourishing domestic nuclear energy sector is critical to US national security, both in the interconnections between military

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  • Energy Geopolitics and the Four Transitions

    At the Atlantic Council’s recent Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, the global energy transformation and diversification in energy and power markets were recurring themes. A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, helped to frame the discussion of these themes. The report argues that the emergence of economically competitive renewable energy sources is fundamentally changing the nature of energy geopolitics by driving changes in import and export dependency on oil and gas, as well as creating new leaders and international alliances in clean energy technologies, reducing the role and leverage of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, and furthering the decentralization and democratization of the

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  • Ichord Quoted in US News & World Report on a New Design for a ‘Small Modular Reactor’


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  • Ichord Quoted in NEI on U.S. Nuclear Power Leadership


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  • US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge

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    For decades, the United States has been a global leader in nuclear energy, both in terms of domestic power generation and the formation of global nuclear policy. In his issue brief, US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge, Global Energy Center Senior Fellow Robert F. Ichord, Jr. examines the diverging developments in US nuclear power vis-à-vis its Chinese and Russian counterparts. He concludes that it constitutes a Chinese and Russian challenge to US nuclear power leadership, with significant geopolitical and security consequences.

    Nuclear energy remains an...

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  • Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030: Key Electric Power Decisions Ahead

    Bilateral and global energy issues are front and center as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, arrives in the United States. While the biggest focus might be on Saudi Arabia’s vital role as the world’s largest crude oil exporter and the impact that growing US oil production and market influence are having on Saudi leadership and OPEC, the energy implications of the crown prince’s Vision 2030 for the modernization and diversification of the Saudi economy and opportunities for US commercial involvement are also critical. 

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