The US nuclear industry is not dodging the big question; what is next for nuclear power after the Fukushima accident in Japan earlier this year?

The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Leslie Kass beat Breaking Energy to the subject in this video interview, mentioning Fukushima as she acknowledged it has been a busy year for the nuclear industry. While the accident has created challenges for operators in the US beyond providing assistance to the impacted site, it has also given the industry what Kass called “a great platform to communicate.”

Read here for more on Fukushima and the nuclear industry’s response.

The nuclear industry only looms large in the public mind when something goes wrong; until then, it remains a vital but largely ignored part of the US generating mix. “As long as people are committed to clean energy, there’s got to be a place for nuclear going forward,” Kass says in this interview, shot at the US Association for Energy Economics annual summit in Washington, DC.

Experience our comprehensive coverage of the USAEE summit here.

The US remains a leader in nuclear – the gold standard in operations and safety, as Kass points out. But beyond safety, it is repositioning to find new ways to control costs as it plans for the next generation of power plants, and Kass details the benefits of some of the public-private models currently being leveraged to pay for new nuclear while keeping costs under control.

For more coverage of the US nuclear industry, read here.