Posted on October 28, 2015
Says “regardless of your politics,” the only clean, cheap, safe, reliable electricity for a country as large as the United States is nuclear power
“We should have a hundred new nuclear reactors—not one.” – Lamar Alexander
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that everyone across the political spectrum should favor nuclear power.
“Regardless of your politics,” he said, “the only really clean, cheap, safe, reliable electricity for a country as large as the United States is nuclear power. If you care about climate change, it is the only solution. If you care about your job not going to Mexico, you want reliable electricity.”
Alexander, in an interview with Stuart Varney this morning on Fox Business News’ Varney & Co., continued: “You are not going to solve climate change with windmills. You can’t run a country that uses 25 percent of all the electricity in the world with windmills that only operate part of the day. And you can’t replace coal or natural gas or any fossil fuel with only windmills and solar panels.”
Speaking of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision Thursday to approve an operating license for Watts Bar Unit 2 at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear facility, Alexander said, “We should have a hundred new nuclear reactors—not one.” When the announcement was made on Thursday, Alexander said Watts Bar Unit 2 would be “the country’s first new reactor built in the 21st Century.”
In a February speech, Alexander, who is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, said there are three reasons we would not want to see “a world without nuclear power”:
No. 1: The United States uses about 25 percent of all electricity in the world to power our industries, our computers, our homes and most everything else we depend upon.
No. 2: Our 99 nuclear reactors provide about 20 percent of that electricity. This is electricity that doesn’t turn on or off when the wind blows or the sun shines and is available more than 90 percent of the time. It is cheap and reliable and safe – we’ve never had anyone die in a nuclear accident at any of our commercial reactors or on our naval fleet.
No. 3: At a time when the world’s leading science academies and many Americans say climate change is a threat – and that humans are a significant cause of that threat – nuclear power provides more than 60 percent of our country’s carbon-free electricity.
Earlier this year, Alexander introduced the fiscal year 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill which would put the United States one step closer to doubling basic energy research and removing major obstacles to nuclear power. This month, Senate Democrats blocked the legislation from being considered by the full Senate.
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For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.