Alexander Encouraged by President Obama’s Recent Leadership on Nuclear Power

Says Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nominees Are “Excellent”

Posted on February 9, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW):

On the president’s nomination of  George Apostolakis, William Magwood, and William Ostendorff to be Members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

  •  “It would be difficult for the president to find three better nominees for the NRC.  They are experienced and will make sure the plants are safe and see the value of them to our country.”

On the president’s appointees to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future:

  • “The quality of the appointees to the president’s new commission on what we do with used nuclear fuel is excellent and should also be an encouraging sign.”

On the president’s leadership with respect to nuclear power:

  • “I want to congratulate President Obama for the leadership he has shown on nuclear energy over the last couple of weeks.  The president’s view is terribly important here because the government isn’t going to build these plants—the utilities are, and the rate players are going to pay for them. It’s up to the president and Congress to create an environment in which that can happen. And, of course, [Energy Secretary] Chu’s advocacy and leadership over the last year all add up to several steps we are taking to get us back into the ball game.”

On Senator Alexander and Senator Webb’s “Clean Energy Act”:

  • “Senator Webb and I have co-authored legislation to create an environment in which we can double nuclear power production in the United States, as well as encourage other forms of clean energy. Our bill makes the loan guarantees technology-neutral, so that any clean energy can be eligible and I’d like for our subsidies and policies and renewable energy standards to follow that technology neutral example as ‘low-carbon’ standards so that we let the marketplace pick and choose among the available forms of energy.”

On why the country needs nuclear power:

  • “China is starting a new nuclear plant every three months, and Japan is one-third nuclear power, France is 80 percent, and even the UAE is building nuclear power plants or making plans to do so.  At the same time, the U.S., where the technology was invented, should create an environment in which we take our invention and use it for our own benefit. I can think of nothing more important for job creation than lots of low-cost, clean, reliable nuclear energy.