One of the myths that Atomic Insights is continually working to dispel is the idea that nuclear energy is a partisan issue with one party supporting it and one party fighting it. Not only is that perception untrue, but it is destructive to the nation and to the technology. Nuclear energy developments are not easy, but few things that are worth doing can be done quickly and easily.
That means that enabling nuclear energy to flourish and provide increasingly massive quantities of safe, reliable, affordable, and emission free energy will require cooperation between both major political parties. It requires rules that make sense and are very slow to change because rapid change when billions are at stake is terribly damaging to the prospects for success.
As evidence that bipartisan support for nuclear exists already – and should be encouraged to grow, I want to share a press release that Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) sent out yesterday on the occasion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of issuing a combined license (COL) to Southern Company for Vogtle units 3 & 4.
February 9, 2012
Senator Carper Commends NRC Approval of New Nuclear Reactors Construction
New Reactors will be the first built in United States in over 30 years
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety, commended the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) approval of licenses to build and operate two new reactors at the Southern Company Vogtle site near Waynesboro, Ga. These projects are the first new nuclear reactors to be built in United States in over 30 years. His statement follows:
“I commend the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for approving the necessary licenses to build and operate two new reactors at the Southern Company Vogtle site – the first new nuclear reactors to be built in this country in more than three decades. These new reactors will employ cutting-edge technology that requires fewer components than our current nuclear fleet, thereby increasing safety by providing fewer opportunities for things to go wrong during an emergency.
“Nuclear energy has helped curb our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and has helped reduce harmful air pollution that damages health and causes climate change. Currently, our nuclear fleet meets 20 percent of our nation’s power needs with clean energy. However, most of our nuclear power plants are 30 to 40 years old. As our nuclear plants age, we must start thinking about how we will replace our nuclear fleet in the not-so-distant future. A renewed nuclear energy industry in this country means clean energy into the future and opportunities for American economic growth, with the potential to create thousands of short-and long-term good-paying American jobs.
“Over the years, my colleagues and I on the Environment and Public Works Committee have worked with the NRC to ensure that we have a ‘culture of safety’ at every one of our U.S. nuclear energy reactors, and we continue to make sure every precaution is being taken to safeguard the American people from a nuclear incident. As my colleagues and I work with the NRC and the nuclear industry to expand opportunities for nuclear power’s continued growth and success, we will also continue to work to make sure we have a strong ‘culture of safety’ throughout our nuclear facilities. I will continue my work with the nuclear industry, the Administration, and my Congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to find ways to put this country on the right path toward a stronger clean energy future, including nuclear power.”
PS – Senator Carper is a retired US Navy Commander who used to try to find nuclear powered submarines from a P-3 aircraft.