The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Cory Booker Compares Anti-Nuclear Democrats To Republican Climate Deniers

  Huffington Post, 20 Sep 19 “…….The remark ― one of the most pointed critiques of the anti-nuclear position in the Democratic primary so far ― grazes a particularly sensitive nerve in the climate policy debate.The United States hasn’t licensed a new reactor in a quarter century. Yet nuclear power is deeply unpopular. In 2016, Gallup found a majority of Americans opposed nuclear energy for the first time since the pollster began surveying the question in 1994. If the 2011 meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, stoked fear in a generation too young to recall 1979’s Three Mile Island accident, HBO’s new hit miniseries “Chernobyl” exposed viewers to the horrors of radioactive contamination. ……

In a presidential election, Nevada, where voters who cast ballots in a decisive early primary staunchly oppose storing nuclear waste in the desert, raises the stakes.  ……..

Now consider the climate platforms top Democratic presidential candidates proposed…. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pledged to start “weaning ourselves off nuclear energy” with the goal of shutting down existing plants by 2035.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took an even firmer stance against nuclear power. He led the charge to shut down the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, which closed in late 2014, and proposed a bill last year to start decommissioning plants across the country.  …….

a heating planet raises some of nuclear power’s biggest risks. Nuclear reactors require 720 gallons of cooling water per megawatt-hour of electricity they produce ― a concern as water resources grow scarcer on a hotter planet, as HuffPost previously reported. The threat of violence increases in a heated world with depleted resources and unprecedented numbers of refugees, raising concerns of nuclear sabotage in terrorist attacks or war.

“From transportation, to storage, to waste that remains lethal for more than 100,000 years, nuclear plants pose numerous threats to our families and our communities,” said John Coequyt, the Sierra Club’s global climate policy director. “Meanwhile, clean energy from solar and wind is outcompeting dirty fuels and only getting cheaper, while new nuclear plants are outrageously expensive, over budget by billions, and economically failing.”

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko warned that even mini-reactors will mean more accidents.

“Every day almost you see a new story, talking about how we’re not going to solve the problem of climate change without nuclear reactors,” Jaczko told WBUR this week. “And when I see those things I scratch my head and wonder if they’re talking about the same industry I’ve been familiar with, because I don’t see how nuclear power plants are going to solve that problem.”

Building new plants will be costly, and it’s not clear such an investment is a better deal than renewables that continue to grow cheaper. And Democratic presidential candidates, despite stark differences on new nuclear plants, are less clear on more pressing, wonky questions, said Jesse Jenkins, an energy systems engineer and professor at Princeton University. Those likely include whether candidates support state or federal subsidies to keep financially distressed nuclear plants open, or if they’d extend licenses up to 60 years on stations deemed safe. …..

September 20, 2019 - Posted by | election USA 2020

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