The nuclear option is unclear by thrown mud

There is a solution to the growing need for energy that protects the environment and maintains energy independence. McClatchy describes the political situation in Lobbying, global warming portend U.S. nuclear renaissance. This source for grid power has been embroiled in fear based politics for decades. The ghost in the closet is not among those usually discussed:

Still, many environmental groups worry about the safety of nuclear power. … Opponents also question why nuclear power needs federal subsidies. … The waste issue remains perhaps the biggest stumbling block.

That ghost is the fear of nuclear Armageddon that was based on cold war realities express in the Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine. The word nuclear is smeared in such a way that only medicine seems to have avoided the taint.

As with many of these fear driven issues, facts and reality do not seem to be very popular. A decades long history of exemplary safety coupled with improvements in design that enhance safety does not seem to register. The ironies of the regulation burden and the burden of an uncertain political environment seem to be oblivious to those wondering about a need for governmental support. Waste management is muddied up by fears that recycling will be a terrorist target and exposure risk exaggeration.

Meanwhile, the old plants that were built before the mud slinging hit critical levels of obfuscation are plugging along. They provide utility companies with a dependable and reliable source of energy and have done so for decades. This reality may be sinking in for those who are trying to see down the road through all the mud on the windshield.

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