ASP Board Member and former Administrator of EPA and Governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, penned an oped with Greenpeace cofounder, Dr. Patrick Moore, on the critical role that nuclear power plays in building a sustainable energy future. Published on the Huffington Post, The two authors note that nuclear power is the largest source of baseload power that is free of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants. As such, avoiding the worse effects of climate change is nearly impossible without a large presence of nuclear power in our energy mix. Rather than retreat from nuclear power, we need to invest more in it. They also cite the fact that nuclear power has broad bipartisan support. From the article:
Nuclear energy has support from the public and from policymakers on both sides of the aisle, including President Obama, Gov. Romney, and others at the federal and state levels. And for the first time in decades, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved construction and operation licenses that will allow America to maintain and expand nuclear generating capacity. Projects to grow nuclear energy are underway in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Another 10 permits for 16 reactors are under NRC review.
Governor Whitman and Dr. Moore also describe the economic impact of nuclear power:
These new projects mean thousands of well-paying construction jobs, thousands more high-paying careers in the nuclear industry and billions of dollars in state and local economic impact. Every new large-scale reactor built requires up to 3,500 workers during the construction phase. Once the facility is operational, it employs 400-700 skilled workers in well-paying jobs offering salaries that average 36 percent higher than typical local salaries. On average, the economic impact of each nuclear energy facility is $430 million annually to surrounding communities. Suppliers of specialized components and other equipment for the U.S. and global market pump another $14 billion into our economy in all 50 states.
To read the full article, click here.