BOISE, Idaho, Sept. 20, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- "The acceleration of nuclear energy use in the U.S. can help meet the rising electricity demand with a clean-air energy source and at the same time spur the American economy as construction of new plants will lead to increasing demand for tens of thousands of skilled workers at all levels," stated Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AEHI) (www.aehipower.com). AEHI, based in Eagle, ID, develops and markets innovative clean energy sources and is seeking to build new power plants in non-nuclear states.
"The U.S. Department of Energy projects that U.S. electricity demands will rise 26 percent by 2035. Industry experts estimate our nation will need hundreds of new power plants to provide electricity in our homes and businesses, as well as a much needed boost to our economy," Gillispie said.
Some 17 companies and consortia are considering building more than 30 nuclear power plants. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is actively reviewing 13 combined license applications from 12 companies and consortia for 22 nuclear power plants, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) ().
AEHI is among those companies that intend to apply to the NRC for a license for its proposed $10 billion commercial Idaho Energy Complex, which the company plans to construct on a 5,300-acre parcel in Payette County, Idaho. AEHI also secured a backup nuclear site on 6,000 acres adjacent to the primary site. The initial plant is expected to become operational in 2019.
According to a recent independent study, AEHI's proposed plant about 60 miles northwest of Boise is expected to create around 5,000 jobs through the construction phase and more than 1,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs during operations. Pay levels for those jobs would average $60,000 and $80,000, respectively. Revenue for the county and state during the construction phase alone is projected to increase Idaho's GDP by some $5.3 billion inclusive of $4.8 billion that would flow directly through Payette County.
NEI has reported there are considerable economic benefits for communities and states when they host new nuclear plants including hundreds of jobs and an expanded tax base. Over the past two years more than 15,000 new jobs have been created due to new nuclear plant activities and the number of U.S. suppliers of nuclear energy equipment certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has jumped 22 percent since 2007.
Based on DOE forecasts for the U.S, maintaining nuclear energy's current 20 percent share of generation would require building about one reactor per year, starting in 2016.
Currently, the largest share of baseload power in the U.S. is provided by coal plants, which pump about 1800 pounds of pollution into the atmosphere per minute. The smallest share is provided by renewables like wind and solar, which are clean, but only work between 10 and 20 percent of the time with high costs.
"Nuclear power has zero carbon emissions and is the only energy we have today that can provide clean, low cost and reliable based-load electricity 24/7," Gillispie said.
The expansion of nuclear power in the U.S. - or around the world in the foreseeable future - will not be limited by a shortage of uranium supplies, according to a major new interdisciplinary study produced under the auspices of the MIT Energy Initiative. The study challenges conventional assumptions about nuclear energy ().
About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.aehipower.com) -- Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation's only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral(TM), which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and Green World Water(TM), which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation (), production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.
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