By Katherine Berezowskyj
As part of the audience yesterday during the opening plenary of the American Nuclear Society’s annual conference, I heard speeches from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders, government officials, and distinguished politicians. They spoke of the critical need for new nuclear builds over the next few decades, but never has this message had so much at stake. Facing a global crisis on multiple fronts, they have all come forward to say that while nuclear is not the answer, it must be part of the solution.
America needs nuclear because it will be a domestic energy source that is clean and reliable, and one that can provide thousands of jobs. But these leaders already understand this message and are working right now to develop new projects and legislation for a cleaner, secure energy future. It is now up to Americans really look at our needs, the problems we face and make a decision.
“I do believe that climate change is an issue and we need to deal with carbon in the air…I think the most effective way to do it is to double nuclear production and to do heavy (research and development) on alternative energy.”
– Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who had just announced with Democratic Senator Webb a plan to issue legislation doubling nuclear power in the US within 20 years and funding research into renewables and recycling of nuclear waste.
Closing the session along with Virginia Senator Jim Webb, Senator Lemar Alexander (Tennessee) had a poignant analogy: if we were going to war, we would not mothball our nuclear navy and start investing in sailboats. (video).
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