Obama Finally Supports Nuclear

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obama Offers Loan Guarantees for Nuclear Power Plant

President Barack Obama is making roughly $8 billion in federal loan guarantees available to help build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in three decades.

Discussing a plant envisioned for Burke County, Ga., Obama told a union audience Tuesday that the initiative will create thousands of construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs. He called it "only the beginning" of efforts to develop "safe, clean" energy-efficient technologies.
Finally! I have long been a supporter of increasing our nuclear energy capabilities and have been baffled by the excessive fear and nonsense about the radioactive waste. First, no one has ever died from a nuclear plant meltdown. And, given the increasing safety standards, the chances of disaster happening are absurdly small. Second, when comparing nuclear and coal pollution, nuclear makes a lot more sense because it "operates on the principle of containing wastes, not dispersing them". What's better: a small, controlled nuclear rod that is stored for breakdown or the spewing of tons upon tons of waste into the air without controls? I hope this is a beginning and our country makes a real push into the nuclear space, we've got a long way to go to catch countries like France that use nuclear generation for 80% of their electricity use.

I have been arguing for a while that the only way this country emerges from this Great Recession and reclaims its status as economic world leader is an energy technology revolution. The wave of the future is clean energy and the US must be a leader in developing these technologies. We are already being left behind by China and need significant investment in these fields. Let's not forget, even with oil's extreme volatility, crude prices began the decade around $30 per barrel. Today we are at $77, a greater than 10% annual compound rate of increase. This increase significantly curtails economic growth for the US while we get to watch Dubai build the world's tallest buildings.
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