June 22, 2005
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD
Today's growing demand for energy and concerns about the harmful effects of greenhouse gasses has generated a renewed interest in nuclear power in the United States and throughout the world. In the United States today 103 operating reactors produce approximately 20% of the nation's electricity. The Department of Energy forecasts a 40-50% growth in electricity demand over the next 20 years which equates to the need for about 350 to 400 large power plants.
In addition to the rising demand for electricity, the nation has become increasingly dependent on foreign oil for automotive transportation and the growing increase in the cost of gasoline is attracting interest in alternatives such as hydrogen. All of the current processes for producing hydrogen require the burning of fossil fuels or consuming expensive natural gas. High temperature nuclear reactors are capable of providing the heat source for hydrogen production and there is potential for a new generation of very high temperature gas reactors. such as the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, to fulfill this need.
This presentation will discuss near term and long term developments in nuclear power that address our current energy challenges.
Mr. Coyle joined the Washington, DC based Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in December of 2004. He is on loan to NEI from the Nuclear Management Company (NMC) for an 18-month assignment as Vice President of Operations.
He joined NMC in 2001 after a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and a prior leadership role in the commercial nuclear industry.
Mr. Coyle graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1965. In 1976 he received a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. After retiring from the Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral, Coyle joined PECO Energy where he served in the nuclear division at Peach Bottom and Limerick.