Mr. Rowe discussed U.S. legislative and regulatory actions to address climate change, and why we must focus on economic approaches that will provide the country with cleaner, more secure energy while minimizing the costs to consumers and putting more people to work. As the electricity industry’s longest-serving chief executive, Rowe was among the first CEOs in the industry to focus on climate change, first testifying before Congress on the potential effects of carbon emissions in 1992.
Following the presentation, McDonald shared with Mr. Rowe that he had been inside the Clinton nuclear power station containment dome looking down on the reactor vessel that was 10 feet under water and was operating at full power. He also questioned Mr. Rowe about pulling Exelon out of the partnership in South Africa to build a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). McDonald informed Rowe that he had toured the built PBMR near Beijing, China. Rowe expressed that part of the reason for pulling out of the project about five years ago was that the South African partnership at that time wanted to build the plant without a containment dome. The Center believes that although the PBMR does not really need a containment dome, it would be good insurance and good public relations to build one. The Center will encourage Mr. Rowe to get Exelon to rejoin the project to build a PBMR in South Africa.