[Offered to the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee of the Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. DOE holding an open meeting on December 10th]
If nuclear power generation is to have a future here in the U.S., the nagging issues surrounding spent fuel storage, nuclear waste and environmental radioactive contamination must be fully resolved. The scope of this effort must be comprehensive and encompass not just the nuclear power generation industry, but must include all nuclear research labs and test facilities, production sites for atomic fission materials, nuclear weapons sites, and any public or private properties that have remaining evidence of contamination.
A near-term benefit of this resolution is creating new jobs and re-establishing a prospering nuclear business here in the U.S. Work on these efforts need not be finished before public confidence is earned and the idea of building a new generation of ‘passively safe’ nuclear power reactors is at least open to rational debate. The faster all of this can happen, the more quickly we can talk about replacing carbon-based fuels used to generate electricity and make massive reductions in CO2 to slow down global warming.