US president George W Bush delivered his state of the Union address on 31 January in which he announced plans to boost investment in both nuclear and clean coal generation, while reducing oil imports from the Middle East.

As part of the plans, Bush outlined the Advanced Energy Initiative which provides for a 22% increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy (DoE) to accelerate research in clean coal technologies, and increase funding for “clean and safe nuclear energy” as well as renewables.

Bush went on: “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology.”

Although details of the investment programme were not revealed, the Nuclear Energy Institute welcomed the speech with president and chief executive officer Skip Bowman saying: “President Bush’s comments on nuclear energy are a positive sign that the United States should seek to expand our nation’s reliance on this emission-free source of electricity. Knowing that the president’s favourable view of nuclear energy is widely shared in Congress by Republicans and Democrats alike and by our citizens across the country, our industry is determined to rise to the challenge of fostering sustained economic growth and achieving long-term energy security for our nation.”

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