John Shanahan, civil engineer: Nuclear power in the United States has been fighting against well funded and well organized anti-nuclear power organizations and their political leaders. Incredibly, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding back development of advanced nuclear power technologies by making licensing unnecessarily slow and expensive. In the 1960s a nuclear plant could be licensed in less than five years. Now the NRC says licensing new technologies could take more than a quarter of a century. North American companies are taking their new technologies to Asia to develop and license. Russia and China are moving ahead as fast as possible to develop new nuclear technologies. How can American citizens let this happen?
Ken Kok is a nuclear engineer and leading member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers advocating for advanced nuclear power technology with spent fuel recycling. Used nuclear fuel and depleted uranium are already mined and milled resources that can power all of America's electrical energy needs at 1994 levels for over 700 years. This is more valuable than fossil fuels and would not require mining for these needs. Combined with fossil fuels, and uranium and thorium still in the ground, the United States and the rest of the world potentially have enough energy to improve the lives of people everywhere for as far as we think civilization will last.
Thomas Cochran has been working with the Natural Resources Defense Council since the 1970s to stop the use of nuclear power, particularly the kind that uses most of the potential energy and produces the lease amount of radioactive waste: In the United States the high cost of new nuclear power plants, their lengthy construction period, the current dependence on large federal subsidies and incentives to stimulate private investment in the sector, unresolved waste management and disposal issues, and a massive requirement to replace the current installed base of nuclear plants before 2050, will all make it difficult for nuclear to make a significantly greater contribution to carbon reductions than is already being contributed by today's fleet of U.S. nuclear power plants.
Thomas Cochran has been working with the Natural Resources Defense Council since the 1970s to impede the use of nuclear power, particularly the kind that uses most of the potential energy and produces the lease amount of radioactive waste:In an effort to promote nuclear power, the Department of Energy has launched a 30- to 50- year international research effort to explore new nuclear reactor and fuel processing technologies. According to Dr. Thomas Cochran, the director of NRDC’s nuclear program, the project is unlikely to result in deployment of new commercial nuclear fuel technologies, but will greatly increase the risk of prolifieration of nuclear weapons.