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Lamar Alexander Goes for an Even Hundred

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander called Wednesday for doubling the number of nuclear reactors nationwide, a potentially $700 billion proposal that calls for building 100 more over 20 years.

That’s what he said to the Associated Press. Why think small? And he’s got all the right reasons lined up.

"I am convinced it should happen because conservation and nuclear power are the only real alternatives we have today to produce enough low-cost, reliable, clean energy to clean the air, deal with climate change and keep good jobs from going overseas."

Allow for a bit of hyperbole and that’s okay. And he totes up the numbers that might go for his idea.

Alexander said he would deliver that message next week speaking on the floor of the Senate, where he said all 40 Republicans and many Democrats support nuclear energy. He said he hopes President Barack Obama's administration would embrace his call under efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the rest and see what you think. Sen. Alexander has become a very strong voice for nuclear energy.

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The story also includes some lovely quotes for balance, from Steve Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Boilerplate, but this stuck out:

Smith urged conservation and efficiency improvements instead, but Alexander said they would not be enough to blunt growing energy demand.

Environmentalists usually go for renewables, with natural gas as a backstop, but Smith seems to see that as distasteful as nuclear energy – or maybe conservation and efficiency poll better. Alexander nails the problem exactly. If electric cars take off, for example, what then does Smith have to offer?

Comments

There's enough room on existing commercial nuclear sites to more than double current US nuclear energy capacity.

It would be nice if pro-nuclear Republicans reached out to pro-nuclear Democrats in order to pass a bi-partisan measure to substantially increase nuclear power generation in the US.

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