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USA Democratic candidates split nuclear energy

Democrats split over nuclear energy amid climate fight, The Hill, BY MIRANDA GREEN – The use of nuclear power is splitting Democratic presidential candidates, with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and businessman Andrew Yang among those calling for new plants and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) arguing vehemently against any expansions.

Somewhere in the middle stand former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who oppose building new reactors but support maintaining those already in operation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is vying with Sanders for the progressive mantle in the nomination fight and has been in the top three in polls alongside Sanders and Biden, hasn’t spelled out her position. Neither has Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the Democratic hopefuls who released their stand-alone climate plan in the final hours leading up the forum.

Nuclear power is one of the only environmental and energy issues that splits the Democratic candidates, who generally agree on the big-picture need to take action to address climate change and to strengthen regulations to protect the environment. But there is no clear consensus when it comes to the role of nuclear energy.

As candidates are looking to distinguish themselves in a crowded field, and with two climate forums this month, some environmentalists say candidates’ stances on nuclear power will be the most telling. That belief is especially true for climate activists who oppose nuclear altogether.

“Given that we don’t have a way to deal with the waste from our existing nuclear reactors, let alone any additional ones, that’s a cause for concern,” said Mitch Jones, climate and energy program director at Food and Water Action.

“If you’re trying to extend the life of existing nuclear power, then you do not have the most environmentally friendly approach to the problem.”……..

the industry is struggling financially. So far this year, two reactors are expected to be retired despite various government subsidies helping the industry. Only one new nuclear power plant has come online since 2010.

The energy source also has a tainted past, rife with references to Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. And nuclear waste remains an issue to this day.

Few permanent solutions have been determined as to where the toxic waste from reactors, which takes thousands of years to decay, should be stored………   https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/459829-dems-split-over-nuclear-energy-amid-climate-fight

September 5, 2019 - Posted by | election USA 2020

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