The Political Sabotage of Nuclear Power

“According to Dawson, nuclear power is “the most scalable, reliable, efficient, land-conserving, material-sparing, zero-emission source of energy ever created.” Wind and solar aren’t as reliable because they depend on intermittent weather. They also require much more land than nuclear plants, which use about 1 percent of what solar farms need and 0.3 percent of what wind farms require to yield the same amount of energy. 

The economics of nuclear power are undoubtedly challenging, but its advocates say that’s primarily because of its thorny politics. The headache of building a new power plant is vividly exemplified by Georgia’s Plant Vogtle. The first U.S. reactor built from scratch since 1974, the project turned into a nightmare scenario: It took almost 17 years from when the first permit was filed for construction to begin, it cost more than $28 billion, and it bankrupted the developer in the process. 

Nuclear regulation is “based on politics and fear-mongering and a lack of understanding,” explains Indian Point’s vice president, Frank Spagnuolo. If they aren’t shut down, he says, power plants such as Indian Point could safely continue to provide clean energy for decades. “

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