As the President has touted in the past, nuclear power is an integral component of an “all of the above” energy policy plan.
As this unusually cold winter should remind us, the reliability of the power grid depends on a varied portfolio of options, which can serve as a hedge against price instability or supply disruptions. Investing in nuclear energy remains one of the best strategies to ensure long-term diversity and reliability of the power grid.
It would be foolish indeed to ignore any low-carbon electricity source. Nuclear power provides the potential for cleaner air, price stability, immense amounts of electricity, electric grid stability, fuel and technology diversity, not to mention numerous high-paying jobs at facilities.
Nuclear power suffers from a perception problem. Accidents have occurred in the past, but new technologies and control systems can address and tackle those issues. I believe the perception issue surrounding nuclear power is somewhat analogous to air travel safety; we all know that traveling by plane is, technologically, extremely secure. There is, however, an outsized media fascination and fear association with any incident, no matter how small, despite 100 years of commercial experience. This largely stems from the lack of public comprehension of aerodynamics.
We all know how trains, cars, and barges work; we all know how burning fuel creates heat and energy. However, very few people understand the intricacies of nuclear power generation; therefore public education must be a key component of making nuclear power part of our energy future.
An “all of the above” policy strategy must actually include “all of the above.” It is imperative for our long-term energy security and economic health that the nation maintains a diversified portfolio of energy sources and technologies, which indubitably, should include nuclear power.