The National Research Council (NRC) has created the Committee on Nuclear Power and Alternative Energy systems to analyze and evaluate the role of nuclear power within the context of alternative energy systems in the United States. This study, which was requested by the Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA), will be carried out within the Assembly of Engineering of the NRC. Heading the committee as co-chairmen will be Harvey Brooks, Peirce professor of technology and public policy at Harvard University, and Edward L. Ginzton, chairman of the board of Varian Associates, Palo Alto, California.
The committee, which will concern itself with a 35-year time span, will look at the consequences of various strategies for developing alternative energy sources in the face of declining oil and gas supplies and rising demands for energy. The study will deal with all aspects of nuclear power systems and fuel cycles, including safety, economics, reliability, and environmental acceptability as well as identify the research and development steps needed to permit timely energy policy decisions to be made.