For the past 30 years, there has been a perception, sometimes reinforced by actions and statements, that the US Democratic Party is reflexively anti-nuclear. At the same time, it has been the perception, sometimes reinforced with words, if not action, that the Republican Party at least wants to “keep the nuclear option open”. When involved in discussions with people in the industry or related academic or government fields, I have tried to persuade people that these perceptions are over simplified and not terribly useful to the continued development of safe, clean, abundant nuclear energy.
I remind people that some of the major political support for the technology in its earliest days came from strong Democrats like Senator Al Gore Sr., Senator Henry M. Jackson, and Congressman L. Mendel Rivers. I also point out that it was President Ford, not President Carter who initially signed the Executive Order that forced the shutdown of the nuclear fuel recycling industry just when it was getting to a point where it could start operating profitably.
There is growing evidence to support my theory that nuclear energy support breaks across party lines – and I believe that is a very good thing for the country. I received a few links via email from an Atomic Insights reader who is also interested in the nature of the growing political support for new nuclear power developments. Thanks for the pointers, RD.
Democratic Leadership Council calls for a “balanced approach that includes clean goal, renewables, natural gas, and nuclear power.”
Post on Democrats.Org favoring expanded nuclear power
Post corrected on Feb 1, 2007. It initially gave L. Mendel Rivers the title of Senator instead of Congressman, but a careful reader pointed out the error.