Former Energy Secretary, nuclear energy supporter joins second-largest U.S. utility.

Author:Wenger, Barbara

Former United States Secretary of Energy, a renowned physicist and a strong supporter of nuclear energy, Ernest Moniz is joining the board of Southern Company, the nation's second-largest utility company.

Moniz served as U.S. Secretary of Energy from 2013 to early 2017, and there he advanced energy technology innovation, nuclear security and strategic stability, cutting-edge capabilities for the American scientific research community and environmental stewardship.

Moniz has been outspoken about his advocacy of a strong nuclear energy industry as a way to bolster national security. A report released last year by Energy Futures Initiative, a think tank he leads, titled "The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler," stated:

The dramatic reduction in new plant construction following the Three Mile Island incident in 1979 has taken its toll in a scaled back domestic manufacturing capability. The new builds in the Southeast promised a reversal, but as already discussed this advance has already been compromised and is at risk in its entirety. Further the early retirement of existing plants, with as much as another twenty gigawatts considered at risk by 2020, will also impact the supply chain, which already has significant gaps. Without a strong nuclear energy program, which is by far the largest nuclear activity in the United States, sustaining the supply chain for both civilian and national security objectives will be challenging. Of his appointment to the Southern company board, he said in a statement: "I have long admired Southern Company for its innovative approach to research and development within the clean energy space, and look forward to joining the board."

He will serve on Southern Company's operations environmental and safety committee and the nominating, governance and corporate...

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