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Nuclear power surges, but the U.S. continues to lag

The lead story in today’s Washington Post is called “Nuclear Power Regains Support.” Unfortunately, though, the story’s focus is not on the U.S. The dateline is London, as the Post chronicles how the “commander” of a group of Greenpeace activists who stormed a nuclear plant in Britain a few years ago became an advocate of lifting the British ban on nuclear plant construction. He and many other former opponents of nuclear power have come to believe that such power is a key part of the solution to “climate change.”
The Post also reports that “from China to Brazil, 53 plants are now under construction worldwide, with Poland, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates seeking to build their first reactors. Even Sweden, Italy, and Belgium have “done an about face as they see the benefits of a nearly zero-emission energy overriding the dangers of radioactive waste disposal and nuclear proliferation.”
But what about the United States? The Post is able to report that “leading environmental groups have backed climate change bills moving through Congress that envision new American nuclear plants.” So the legislature may be “envisioning” nuclear plants, for whatever that’s worth. But what about the executive? Here, tellingly, the Post is entirely silent. The reality is that President Obama thus far has declined to embrace nuclear power as a way to meet his energy goals.
The Dems seem to believe that Sweden, Italy, Belgium, and France (which has been heavy into nuclear power for years) have much to teach us. But the lessons apparently don’t extend to an obvious, sensible, and pragmatic means of boosting our energy supply without increasing our reliance on fossil fuels.

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