More than 3 decades after Long Island’s Shoreham nuclear power plant was closed by protests, the Obama administration has agreed to financially support the first new reactors to be built since the 1970’s, in the form of $8.3 billion loan guarantees for two new reactors in Georgia. This controversial action points out how difficult it will be for the US to reduce green house gas emissions by 83% before 2050 as suggested in pending house legislation on climate change. The two major problems often identified by environmentalists are the disposal of nuclear waste and sitting problems due to the risk to nearby populations. Will another nuclear reactor be planned for Long Island? I’d say that is extremely, extremely, unlikely. Perhaps the bigger question for Long Islanders is: will we oppose nuclear power anywhere else in the USA even if it is deemed critical to a comprehensive plan? I hope we won’t, as I agree with President Obama that carbon free nuclear energy will be vital to any realistic plan to prevent catastrophic climate change.
WASHINGTON — President Obama, speaking to an enthusiastic audience of union officials in Lanham, Md., on Tuesday, underscored his embrace of nuclear power as a clean energy source, announcing that the Energy Department had approved financial help for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia.If the project goes forward, the reactors would be the first begun in the United States since the 1970s.