Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is one of Washington’s biggest proponents of nuclear power. And in Nashville Friday, he asked an audience of conservationists to see things his way.
Nuclear gets a bad rap because of the long-term impact of radiation, but Senator Alexander says environmentalists should give atomic energy another shot.
“Climate change may be an inconvenient problem. Nuclear power might be a big part of the inconvenient solution. And then renewable energy, very important in the future. We hope the research will make it more useful, but it has its limits.”
Biomass, where wood and fibers are burned instead of coal, shows some promise in Alexander’s view. But by his estimate, it would take harvesting trees from an area larger than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to match the power output from one nuclear reactor. Alexander has also opposed the building of windmills, mostly because they’re an eyesore.
Senator Alexander has issued what he calls a “blueprint” for building 100 new nuclear plants in the next 20 years. Here’s a copy.