Obama irresponsible on nuclear power
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama promised to build “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants” in America. He quickly backed that up: In his proposed budget, out this week, he asks Congress to triple the amount of money in an Energy Department loan guarantee program for new power stations. “We are working hard to restart the American nuclear power industry,” Energy Secretary Stephen Chu exclaimed Tuesday.
Sounds nice. Nuclear power is proven and pretty clean relative to, say, coal. But it still produces waste, and the administration’s plan for that is… to close the nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nev.
That idea, also in Obama’s budget, acknowledges political reality. Nevada’s NIMBY’s have a lock on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Yet it’s bad policy -- nuclear waste currently sits in surface-level storage units strewn across the country. And it’s more than a little jarring, not to mention irresponsible, for the president to push a large expansion of nuclear energy while eliminating the best way to clean up dangerous byproducts and not providing an alternative.
| February 3, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories: Stromberg | Tags: Stephen Stromberg
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