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Obama Fights For Nuclear, Environmentalists Label Him a Shill
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Written by Daniel   
Monday, 21 June 2010 18:22

From Daily Tech

Nuclear plant, nuclear fuel facility, and loan agreements all advancing, despite protests

Breaking with many members of his party, U.S. President Barack Obama this year called upon the U.S. to regain its lead in nuclear power and embrace new clean nuclear technology.  The move was tremendously unpopular among some of his key constituents.

A February article in Mother Jones blasted the President, accusing him of be in the nuclear industry's pocket, writing:



With the leading projects in dissary (sic), why is the Obama administration rushing to put billions on the line to encourage new construction? The industry has been trying to get Uncle Sam to bankroll its comeback for more than a decade. Between 1999 and 2009, the industry poured more than $600 million into lobbying for its cause and spent almost $63 million on campaign contributions, according to a recent analysis from the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. Republicans have long championed nuclear power, putting forward legislation that would call for the construction of 100 new nuclear plants in the next two decades. But the nuclear lobby's most ambitious goals were often stymied by Democrats in Congress—until Obama was elected and his administration began the push for (sic) climate bill.

That was just one of a host of rambling and angry commentaries attacking the President's stand.  Others included -- "Obama’s nuclear error: $54 billion in loan guarantees make little policy or political sense", "5 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy is Even Worse than Clean Coal", "Next in Line for a Bailout: The Nuclear Industry?", "There’s a New Drive for Nuclear Power, But It’s Still a Financial Dead End", "The loan arranger: Obama triples budget for nuke loan guarantee program… but hasn’t seen a single promising application in two years".

Undeterred, Obama has pressed ahead.  On June 10 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the startup of a $3B USD uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico, the first new nuclear fuel plant to start in over three decades.

The NRC's landmark decision marked just one of several small victories for Obama's persistent push for nuclear.  It also bring the U.S. up to speed by activating superior centrifuging technologies that have been in place in Europe for over 30 years.  These technologies can improve the quality of fuel and reduce waste.

 

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