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Nuclear Power Needs Policy Leadership

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Hurricane Harvey reminds us that extreme weather will become more common as the climate responds to massive carbon dioxide emissions. There’s an urgent need to reduce carbon emitting fuel sources. Nuclear energy produces no carbon emissions while providing almost 20% of U.S. electricity.

Nuclear power is struggling against low natural gas prices and energy markets optimized for short-term profits over long-term planning. New nuclear plant designs are decades away from realization and will not provide immediate solutions.

Policy gridlock exists in planning for a geologic repository to handle the dangerous radioactive wastes. Nuclear power needs policy leadership.

Allison Macfarlane, Professor and Director, Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, George Washington University

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