Doyle Beneby, the Chairman and CEO of CPS Energy, welcomed the ANS meeting attendees to San Antonio. He talk was partly the traditional greeting provided by the electric utility that supplies power in the service territory hosting the meeting, but he also spoke about his vision for the future of energy. He was not an official “plenary” speaker, but his welcoming talk fit well with the identified topic of the plenary.
Beneby joined the panel to answer questions after the rest of the talks were completed, so his words deserve to be shared along with those of the official speakers.
Beneby clearly expressed his confidence about the importance of nuclear energy in the U. S. energy portfolio. He also shared his skepticism about a low carbon future that does not include a strong component of nuclear energy. Beneby said that smaller reactors might be the right product for companies like his.
In some locales, like Texas, that’s not only a merchant market but also an energy only market small modular reactors might be the adopted technology because of the lower initial capital investment and the opportunity for investors to not have their funds tied up over a decade or so and risk political upheaval, cost overruns and the like. You’ve heard about all that before.
But clearly, in a significant way it [nuclear] will be a part of our dynamic going forward.