James Inhofe argues with zeal that nuclear must be a part of our energy mix on Politico today. Nuclear power is a zero carbon energy source that provides jobs to America says Inhofe.
He’s right. Which is why the Energy Secretary Steven Chu is a huge supporter of nuclear energy. When Chu sat before the Environmental Public Works Committee last week, he said he wants America recapturing the lead in nuclear energy. He also laid out to MIT Technology Review how to overcome some of the problems with nuclear just two months ago.
That’s what makes Inhofe’s op-ed today seem so strange. He’s arguing in favour of nuclear at a time when the general public is coming around to his point of view. Nuclear is probably safer than coal, and emits less pollution. If cap and trade becomes a reality, nuclear becomes even more attractive.
The biggest hurdle for nuclear power is economic. Building a reactor is expensive! The Journal estimated in May that new nuclear plants cost $6-12 billion for new reactors. So, rather than just arguing loosely for nuclear power, Inhofe should be demanding that new nuclear plants get built tomorrow with some stimulus money that’s not being used.
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