CATF aims to make nuclear energy a viable option for decarbonizing the world energy system at needed scale and speed. We catalyze private sector and government activity to lower the cost and deployment speed of current nuclear technology.
CATF accomplishes these goals through direct strategic engagement on technology and commercial strategies with industry, technology, and academic partners; and through advocacy in the public arena and to investors. We aim to establish a broad portfolio of commercially-available and market-competitive nuclear power generation options within the next 10-20 years that could scale to terrawatt levels globally for power, heat and transportation fuels. This portfolio would include current generation water-cooled reactors under an improved delivery model, advanced reactors using mostly non-water coolants and fusion.
We need federal action, but not a blank check, to counter the premature retirement of nuclear plants
Nuclear energy, which the Intergovernmental Program on Climate Change (IPCC) includes in all of its potential pathways to keeping global warming below 1.5 C, provides more than half the clean electricity generated in the U.S. It also offers the 28 states that have at least one commercial nuclear reactor a base of clean energy to build upon to achieve future decarbonization goals. However, nine nuclear reactors, or moreNews & Media
Letter of Support for the Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2019
CATF, the American Nuclear Society, and the Oak Ridge Affiliated Universities, submitted a letter supporting the inclusion of the Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2019, the Lipinski amendment, as part of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, H.R. 4447. Read the Letter of Support for the Lipinski AmendmentAdvanced Nuclear Energy
Modernizing US Licensing for Advanced Nuclear Energy: The NRC Takes an Important Step Forward
Numerous analyses from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the International Energy Agency to the Obama Administration’s mid-century climate report have suggested that expanding our low carbon options to include nuclear energy (today, the world’s second-largest source of zero-carbon electricity after large dams) could make a significant difference in addressing climate change. Yet significant […]Advanced Nuclear Energy
The Rise of Commercial Fusion Startups: A Brief History of Fusion
Nuclear fusion is what powers the stars and creates many of the elements that make up our universe. A fusion reaction occurs when two elements overcome fundamental forces of nature to join together under high temperatures and pressures. In the process, energy is released, which can be calculated through Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2. Fusion energy […]Advanced Nuclear Energy
CATF Welcomes the First Non-Light Water Reactor License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) welcomes the submission by Oklo of the first ever non-light water reactor combined operating license application (COLA) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This important milestone paves the way for future deployment, additional applications, and allows for years of preparatory work by the NRC to be put into practice. Oklo’s application […]Advanced Nuclear Energy
Clean Air Task Force Welcomes Introduction of the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act
Earlier this month, Representatives Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Dan Newhouse (WA-4) introduced H.R. 6097, the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act (NERDA). This bipartisan bill supports the role of existing and future nuclear technology to achieve national and international decarbonization goals and CATF welcomes its introduction. CATF considers nuclear energy to be potentially an important […]
Advanced Nuclear Energy
Scope of Work
CATF speaks to dozens of government, media, civil society, and private sector audiences each year on the potentially large role of nuclear energy in addressing climate change as well as the private sector and policy changes needed to make that potential a reality. CATF also conducts analysis of energy systems to explore optimal economic roles of nuclear energy in achieving deep carbon reductions.
Policy Development & Advocacy
CATF is developing a comprehensive blueprint for US federal initiatives supporting innovation in delivery models for existing water-cooled nuclear technology as well as technological innovation to support and demonstrate advanced fission and fusion energy systems. CATF also advocates internationally for coordinated and harmonized licensing of advanced reactor designs and multinational demonstration as well as measures to enhance the safety and security of global nuclear technology.
Commercial Assessment & Support
CATF is continually reviewing and assessing advanced reactor developments, and working with companies to fine tune their technical and commercial strategies, helping them to focus on relevant market requirements and desirable performance characteristics. CATF facilitates collaborations between technology developers, investors, and governments to improve delivery and cost of current nuclear technology and accelerate commercialization. CATF is also assessing the opportunities for nuclear to produce industrial heat and transportation fuels. Finally, CATF is exploring the economic opportunity to improve nuclear economics by coupling it to energy storage.
Delivery Model Innovation
CATF has helped develop and launch two major influential studies outlining the potential for significant cost reductions and swifter delivery of nuclear energy through business and delivery model changes – project management, project structure, product-based manufacturing, offshore siting, for example – as well as advanced reactor technology. CATF is actively working with commercial parties, governments, and manufacturing and construction experts to explore ways to implement these innovations.
- US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is modernizing its licensing regulations to work better for advanced fission, along the lines suggested by CATF and our partner the Nuclear Innovation Alliance. Congress is considering a bill to further accelerate that work.
- The US Congress is considering legislation that would accelerate advanced fission RD and D – sponsored by both climate skeptics and climate activist legislators in an unusual alliance.
- US, UK and Canada have agreed to move forward with talks on how to harmonize international licensing of reactors to speed their scale-up while ensuring safety.
- Opinion among thought leaders on nuclear energy as a climate mitigation tool has moved significantly to a more receptive posture.
- CATF has helped launch two major cost studies addressing existing and advanced fission technologies; these reports, which posit the potential for dramatic cost reductions, have influenced the debate.
What We're Working On
Licensing and Regulatory Activities
Research and Development
Market Analysis and Deployment