Who Supports Nuclear Energy2019-10-21T14:33:37+00:00

There’s been so much bad press about nuclear energy that some might have the impression that nuclear power is quite done and gone.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Nuclear energy provides the vast majority of our clean energy today and its use is growing worldwide.  Because continued use of fossil fuels threatens our existence, more and more people are cutting through the fog of our primordial energy prejudice and parsing a half century of operating history and seeing the clear benefits of supporting and growing nuclear energy — if we are to have a hope of reducing fossil fuel use and its emissions.  Here are a few of them.

Prominent Nuclear Power Supporters

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Paul Allen

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, founder of Vulcan Capital

Former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen had become convinced that nuclear energy should be part of the climate change solution and, by 2013, he saw an early screening of a documentary that he was convinced could get people thinking about nuclear in a whole new way. He signed on to support production of Robert Stone’s film, Pandora’s Promise. “I like that the film lays out the facts and then viewers can make up their own minds about nuclear power based on the facts and information presented,” said Allen. “Documentaries like this open people’s minds and lead to informed decision-making, which is critical if we want to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.” Former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen later invested in Tri Alpha Energy, an advanced nuclear start-up working on fusion energy.

Meredith Angwin, nuclear advocate and self-published author of books such as Campaigning for Clean Air

In her long illustrious career, Meredith Angwin has been a constant supporter of clean energy and has devoted her career to reducing pollution. She serves as a representatives to the steering committee of  the Consumer Liaison Group of ISO-NE, the New England grid operator. After obtaining an M.S. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago, she invented several patents that reduced the pollutants in fossil fuels and controlled corrosion in nuclear power plants. Her patents gave her enough recognition within the industry for her to become one of the first women project managers at EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). She then later founded a pollution control and water chemistry consulting company that had both local and international utility clients. To this day, she continues her advocacy for nuclear energy and as a result, has received a President’s Citation award from the American Nuclear Society.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Bezos has invested in the secretive General Fusion startup  pursuing a method to create fusion energy—the same energy that powers the sun. Like other privately funded moonshot initiatives like Bezos’ Blue Origin, the tech billionaires investing in fusion believe the private sector can cut the bureaucracy of government-funded fusion research, which is slowed by red tape, and hasten the rollout of the technology, perhaps quite literally saving the planet as we know it.

Michael Bloomberg, founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a 3-term mayor of New York City, and the world’s 7th Richest Person

Bloomberg is a co-author of Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens CAN SAVE THE PLANET, along with Carl Pope.  In it he writes:  “I’m not exactly your stereotypical environmentalist.  I don’t own a pair of Birkenstocks, eat granola, hug trees, lie down in front of bulldozers, oppose GMOs, or lose sleep over spotted owls.  I don’t want to ban fracking (just do it safely) or stop the Keystone pieline (the oil is coming here one way or another), and I support nuclear power.” (p. 18)

Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jim Risch (R-ID), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) to direct the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize partnering with private innovators to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts. The measure authorizes the creation of a National Reactor Innovation Center that brings together the technical expertise of the National Labs and DOE to enable the construction of experimental reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would partner with the DOE in this effort, which would enable the NRC to contribute its expertise on safety issues while also learning about the new technologies developed through the Center. This measure strengthens the abilities of national laboratories to partner with private industry to prove the principles behind their ideas.

CLEAN NUCLEAR ENERGY, RESEARCH ADVANCED IN BIPARTISAN SENATE BILL:Private-public partnerships can improve research, drive innovation.

Stewart Brand, President of the Long Now Foundation, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue

“I used to be pretty much a kneejerk environmentalist on [nuclear]. And then because of climate change I re-investigated the matter and discovered that I’d been misled in many of the details on how nuclear works. And I finally got to the point where I’m so pro-nuclear now that I would be in favor of it even if climate change and greenhouse gases were not an issue. . . . The question is often asked, can you be an environmentalist and be pro-nuclear?  In light of climate change, can you be an environmentalist and NOT be pro-nuclear?”

Newsweek, Steward Brand, An Icon of Environmentalism, Talks of Embracing Nuclear Power, by Andrew Bast, October 21, 2009

Sir Richard Branson, Founder and chair of the Virgin Group, Virgin Galactic

“Obviously we urgently need to come up with a clean effective way of supplying our energy since not only are the dirty ways like oil running out but we need to do so to help avoid the world heating up,” Branson told the Guardian.

The GuardianRichard Branson urges Obama to back next-generation nuclear technology,by Mark Halper, July 20, 2012

Carol Brownerformer Administrator of the U.S. EPA under President Clinton, former Director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy under President Obama, is now a member of the Leadership Council of Nuclear Matters, an organization working to clarify the facts about nuclear.

“I used to be anti-nuclear. But, several years ago I had to reevaluate my thinking because if you agree with the world’s leading climate scientists that global warming is real and must be addressed immediately then you cannot simply oppose clean, low-carbon energy sources.

As a former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator and former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, I have long championed clean air and the need to limit the dangerous pollutants that contribute to climate change. In doing so, I have come to fully appreciate the role that our current nuclear energy facilities play in meeting our energy needs without increasing carbon pollution.”

Forbes, If You’re Concerned About Climate Change, You Should Support Nuclear Power,by Carol Browner, May 5, 2014

Dr. Ken Caldeira, Climate Scientist at the Carnegie Institute for Science, co-authored the 2015 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report “Geo-engineering Climate: Technical Evaluation and Discussion of Impacts;” the IPCC AR5 report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis; the 2010 US National Academy America’s Climate Choices report; and was coordinating lead author of the oceans chapter for the 2005 IPCC report on Carbon Capture and Storage.

In December 2015, Dr. Caldeira held a press conference at the Paris COP issuing a challenge to global leaders to implement a diversified clean energy strategy that blends renewable and nuclear energy.  His opening comment was:

Many years ago, I was protesting against nuclear power at the Shoreham Nuclear Plant on Long Island and I was arrested for protesting nuclear power. At that time, I thought, we had bioenergy and some wind and solar and that would be enough to solve the problem.  I’ve come to see now that the magnitude of the problem is so great that we can’t afford to leave technologies unused that can potentially help.

There’s really only one technology that I know of that can provide carbon free power when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing at the scale modern civilization requires and that is nuclear power. And whatever you think of nuclear power, we need to let it compete on its own merits given an appropriate regulatory environment and a sensible, cost competitive market situation.

And we shouldn’t discriminate against individual technologies. It’s not about either/or, we’re not talking about whether we favor solar power, wind or nuclear power; I’m in favor of anything that can prevent climate change, protect the environment and allow poor people to get food and health care and education

The basic plea here is let’s focus on the climate agenda, and the climate agenda is about supplying energy in a way that does not damage our environment. We need to allow technologies to compete on their own merits.

Climate GambleTop Climate Scientists to Issue Stark Challenge at COP21, by Rauli Partanen, November 13, 2015

Forbes, The Real Climate Consensus: Nuclear Power,James Taylor, August 3, 2017

Jeremy Carl, author and research fellow of the Hoover Institution

Carl is the co-author of Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants, which discusses the benefits of nuclear energy, and why it possess such a public misunderstanding.

“This really gets to the point of the contradiction and one of the reasons we started studying the nuclear power situation last year. Nuclear shares many of the same positive attributes that renewables possess:

  • Air pollution from power generation is estimated to kill about 10,000 Americans each year – nuclear has none.
  • Nuclear has essentially no carbon dioxide emissions, though surveys show that only about one-quarter of Americans know this.
  • Costs for existing plants are predictable and don’t fluctuate much year-to-year, which can be useful if thinking about a power generation portfolio that mitigates future risks. One really nice thing about the existing plants is that we’ve, for the most part, already paid for the large cost of constructing them.”

Maria Cantwell, Senator from Washington State, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Senator Cantwell believes that innovative technologies will be required to move past cost and safety issues. “If nuclear power is to have a future, the problems that have consistently plagued it in the past must be met with innovative and effective ideas,” Sen. Cantwell said. Transparency and open communication by industry and government is also important.” During the past two decades, nuclear energy has provided nearly 20 percent of electrical generation in the United States and currently produces about 60 percent of America’s carbon-free electricity. “The advancement of nuclear technology is an important pathway for moving the global community away from carbon-emitting technologies,” Sen. Cantwell said.  Sen. Cantwell also highlighted the importance of the United States retaining global leadership in supply chain technologies. To do so, the United States must be a strong exporter of advanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear materials and technology to ensure its participation in foreign markets and to influence global safety, security and nonproliferation policy. Renewed U.S. engagement with the world in civil nuclear cooperation will strengthen the bilateral relationship and promote international nuclear nonproliferation.

Dr. Stephen Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for work at Bell Labs and Stanford University, now the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University.

“The ominous signs of climate change we see today are a warning of dire economic and social consequences for us all,” Chu has said. “The path to finding solutions is to bring together the finest, most passionate minds to work on the problem in a coordinated effort and to give these researchers the resources commensurate with the challenge. . . . Nuclear has to “play a significant and growing role in our nation’s—and the world’s—energy portfolio.”

Dr. Chu, speaking at Stanford University, 2008.  Additionally, he joined his fellow directors of the DOE National Laboratories in signing a white paper, “A Sustainable Energy Future: The Essential Role of Nuclear Energy” (see pages 16-25)

Eileen Claussen, President of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a new policy brief which warned that closures of U.S. nuclear power plants will make it harder for the United States to reduce carbon emissions and meet its climate goals.  The brief, “Climate Solutions: The Role of Nuclear Power,” examines the role of the existing U.S. nuclear fleet as a zero-carbon energy source, supplying the lion’s share — more than 60 percent — of zero-carbon electricity in the United States. Unlike other zero-carbon sources such as wind and solar, which are intermittent, nuclear provides “baseload” power available 24 hours a day. “Losing more of our existing nuclear fleet will make it that much tougher to meet our carbon reduction goals,” said C2ES President Eileen Claussen. “We need to keep ramping up renewables, but they can’t meet our need for reliable power 24/7. Nuclear is a baseload source and it’s carbon-free – two things we need.”

C2ES Press Release: Losing nuclear power makes it harder to meet U.S. climate goals, April 28, 2014 (with links for their report and infographic.)

Hillary Clinton, First Female Presidential Candidate, former First Lady (two terms), former Secretary of State, former Senator from New York (two terms)

At a February 2007 campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, Clinton stated, “I think nuclear power has to be part of our energy solution… We get about 20% of our energy from nuclear power in our country… other countries like France get much much more, so we do have to look at it because it doesn’t put greenhouse gas emissions into the air.”  In Democratic primary debates in 2016, Clinton said that she supported greater oversight of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, but said any action “needs to be done in a careful, thoughtful way” and that: “We also have to be realistic and say, ‘You get 25% of the electricity in the greater New York City area from Indian Point.’ I don’t want middle-class taxpayers to see a huge rate increase.”

Clinton wants to renew permits for existing nuclear power plants that are safe to operate and increase public investment in advanced nuclear power.  From:Wikipedia: Political positions of Hillary Clinton

Gwyneth Cravens, American Novelist and Journalist

Craven’s book-Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy-describes why nuclear energy is not only a safe energy source, but why it is also a carbonless energy source that is vital in combatting climate change. Following the release of the book in October 2007, she has appeared on documentaries and spoken in several seminars, all to promote nuclear energy.

WikipediaGwyneth Craven

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

New York’s Public Service Commission approved an innovative clean energy standard in 2016 which requires that half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 along with a plan for incentives and subsidies to help keep the state’s nuclear power plants running.  The initiative, supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, designed the nuclear subsidies as a way to avoid new carbon pollution as the state works toward its goal of using 50 percent renewables like wind and solar, because there was no way to replace those nuclear units with clean energy if they were to shut. “New York has taken bold action to become a national leader in the clean energy economy and is taking concrete, cost-effective steps today to safeguard this state’s environment for decades to come,” Cuomo said. “This Clean Energy Standard shows you can generate the power necessary for supporting the modern economy while combating climate change.”

New York approves renewable energy standard, by Timothy Cama, August 1, 2016

Jared Diamond, author of Collapse

To deal with our energy problems we need everything available to us, including nuclear power. Nuclear power should simply be done carefully, like they do in France, where there have been no accidents.

Peter Diamondis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI),  Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University, Co-Founder/Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, and  Co-Founder of Space Adventures and Zero-Gravity Corporation, as well as the author of “Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think andBOLD – How to go Big, Create Wealth & Impact the World.”

“Today, nuclear power generates 13 percent of the world’s electricity, with 30 countries worldwide operating 449 nuclear reactors for electricity generation.  This old-school industry is now undergoing a period of rare entrepreneurial innovation.  As I review the 55 “startups” garnering the majority of the $1.6 billion in funding, the following four companies (IMHO) represent the most impressive attempts at making a nuclear future a reality:  1) Terra Power: Terra Power describes itself as “an incubator and developer of technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities.” As chairman of the board, Bill Gates has invested a large sum of his wealth to developing the company’s Travel Wave Reactor, an energy system that uses depleted uranium and only needs to be refueled every 40 to 60 years. 2) General Fusion: This Vancouver-based company has raised $94 million and is backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The company uses high-tech hammers to trigger nuclear fusion, a process called “magnetized target fusion.” This brief video shows off the concept. 3) Tri Alpha Energy: Paul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder, has invested heavily in a California company called “Tri Alpha.” Tri Alpha is pursuing what it calls “friendly fusion” with a combination of particle accelerators and plasma physics. They even have an operational generator named Norman that I’m confident we will see in action in the next decade. and 4)  Helion Energy: Helion is developing the “Fusion Engine,” which they say will be 1,000 times smaller and 500 times cheaper than the competition. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has invested in the endeavor, alongside NASA, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. The company hopes to have a working reactor by 2019. With such high-profile investments and exciting cutting-edge technology, the future of nuclear is looking bright.

The Future of Nuclear Power, at diamondis.com, December 26, 2017

Robert Downey, Jr., American actor and singer, who has performed for movies and television

“It’s like half the people who were out there, were out there saying ‘No Nukes’ and ‘Shut down the power plants,’ are now realizing that someone is saying that nuclear is the best way to go for the future. So, I think it’s natural to re-examine your beliefs as you age up. Nuclear is the best way to go for the future.”

Representative Mike Doyle, (D-PA), co-sponsor of the HR 1320, the NUKE Act

Congressmen Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R.1320, the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy’ (NUKE) Act, which puts in place a framework for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) fees to increase transparency and provide long-term certainty for nuclear plants. On introducing the legislation, Congressman Doyle released the following statement: “Nuclear energy is vital for providing our constituents with reliable power; in fact, it’s our country’s largest source of carbon-free electricity. As we seek to reduce emissions in our fight against climate change, I believe it’s important for the federal government to facilitate future investment in nuclear power generation and ensure that the plants which are currently operating can stay online for years to come. This bill would do so without compromising the government oversight needed to ensure such facilities are built and operated safely.”

David Duchovny, actor, writer, director, activist

“Nuclear and renewables need to join together in the climate fight, not compete. That’s been the conclusion of nearly every study of this subject — from the UN’s panel on climate change, to the best work of our national laboratories. The case for nuclear energy is strengthened by an emerging generation of nuclear plants that are likely to be much less expensive and safe, with lower waste.  Managing climate change is going to be a generational battle. We need all of the ammunition we have, and then some. New York’s recent decision wisely recognizes that extending the life of existing nuclear power plants is part of the solution. With the national climate change agenda now more uncertain than ever, it’s time to collectively get behind a pragmatic path forward.”

Huffington Post: BlogRenewables and Nuclear Can No Longer Afford To Be Foes by David Duchovny and Jigar Shah,December 12, 2016, updated November 22, 2017

Susan Eisenhower, CEO and Chairman of The Eisenhower Group, Inc.

“There are additional consequences for the United States if we retreat from what was traditionally our global leadership in nuclear energy. Leadership requires the capacity to use leverage and influence to achieve objectives. The United States needs a robust nuclear program if it is to continue to be a force for curbing nuclear proliferation and competing in the lucrative global nuclear industry. Unless we act soon, an industry founded in this country will continue to yield its position to friends, competitors and potential adversaries alike.”

Swords into Ploughshares by Susan Eisenhower, December 10, 2013

Dr. Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, one of the most knowledgeable experts on atmospheric science, with a special focus on hurricane research. He is also one of the media’s most sought-after experts regarding global warming issues.

“Nuclear and renewables need to join together in the climate fight, not compete. That’s been the conclusion of nearly every study of this subject — from the UN’s panel on climate change, to the best work of our national laboratories. The case for nuclear energy is strengthened by an emerging generation of nuclear plants that are likely to be much less expensive and safe, with lower waste.  Managing climate change is going to be a generational battle. We need all of the ammunition we have, and then some. New York’s recent decision wisely recognizes that extending the life of existing nuclear power plants is part of the solution. With the national climate change agenda now more uncertain than ever, it’s time to collectively get behind a pragmatic path forward.”

All four of us have devoted substantial fractions of our professional lives to understanding the fundamental physics, chemistry, biology of our climate system. We got into it because we wanted to understand it. We didn’t have any ulterior baggage there. But that study of the climate system has very strongly led us to the conclusion that we are incurring unacceptable risks for future generations. I think that’s why we’re all here, to solve the problem.

As Ken properly said, there are a lot of people who see this as an opportunity to advance one agenda or another. Okay. We have to be conscious of that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But why are four climate scientists who don’t have strong backgrounds in nuclear physics here talking to you today about nuclear energy. It’s because we’re scientists; we can do the math.  If we truly are sincere about solving this problem, unless a miracle occurs, we are going to have to ramp up nuclear energy very fast. That’s the reality. That’s not my ideology. Like my friend Ken said, we don’t care whether it’s nuclear or solar or hydro. Whatever combination works. The numbers don’t add up unless you put nuclear power in the mix.

David Fedor, author and research fellow of the Hoover Institution

Fedor is the co-author of Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants, which discusses the benefits of nuclear energy, and why it possess such a public misunderstanding.

“The federal government may be able to help. For example, American operators might be able to improve the overall grid value of nuclear were they able to ramp up the output of individual plants in response to grid needs, but U.S. regulations and markets don’t currently do a good job of incentivizing such behaviors despite potential public benefit. A motivated administration could make inroads here.

Then, there is innovation. Over the long term, our existing nuclear expertise may develop cheaper, simpler and even safer advanced nuclear technologies that could be used at home and in unexpected global markets. The federal government should be the lead supporter of these long-term but potentially large-payoff bets through consistent research-and-development funding, more nimble technology commercialization partnerships – along the lines of NASA’s recent work with companies like SpaceX – as well as boring but important areas like nuclear technology testing and licensing reform.”

Former Senator Al Franken

Yes [nuclear waste] will be around for hundreds of thousands of years, but I am kind of hoping we will be too … Nuclear power has to be part of the solution. – Post-Bulletin

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, co-founder and investor in TerraPower (an advanced nuclear start-up)

“If you gave me only one wish for the next 50 years: I can pick who is president, I can pick a vaccine … or I can pick that [an energy technology] at half the cost with no CO2 emissions gets invented, this is the wish I would pick. This is the one with the greatest impact. I love nuclear.”

Kam Ghaffarian, founder of space contractor SGT and advanced nuclear startup called X-energy

Serial entrepreneur Kam Ghaffarian, an Iranian-American who co-founded space contractor SGT, went on a spiritual retreat years ago in the South of France, which kicked off a new found fascination with nuclear technology.  Ghaffarian fouded a nuclear startup called X-energy in 2009 but isn’t the only successful businessman to suddenly become intrigued by new forms of nuclear energy. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates plowed millions into a nuclear startup called TerraPower, while Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos funded nuclear fusion startup General Fusion. Microsoft’s other co-founder Paul Allen became smitten with another nuclear fusion startup called Tri Alpha Energy. Dozens of ambitious nuclear startups are now vying to be the next big thing in nuclear energy. At stake is a chance to commercialize a much needed energy source that doesn’t contribute to climate change and which revitalizes the nuclear industry.

Kirsty Gogan, co-founder and Executive Director of Energy for Humanity

The focus of Energy for Humanity, a new NGO, is on “two of the great environmental and humanitarian challenges that we face in this century. How to dramatically cut carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change in our lifetimes and that of our children and secondly, lifting billions of people out of poverty to achieve the quality of life that we take for granted. Both of these challenges have one thing in common, the energy that we use to power our world.”

Herbie Hancock, an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and member of the Miles Davis Quintet.

The peace activist and jazz artist, Herbie Hancock, spoke about the use of thorium as safe and abundant environmentally sound power in Oslo on the 70th anniversary for the Hiroshima bomb. Posted on YouTube here by B Erzelius, on August 11, 2015.

Dr. James Hansen, former NASA Scientist and head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, now Director of Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program, Earth Institute, Columbia University, Hansen is best known for his research in the field of climatology, his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change.

In recent years, Hansen has become a climate activist for action to mitigate the effects of climate change, which on a few occasions has led to his arrest. From 1981 to 2013, he was the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. As of 2014, Hansen directs the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. The program is working to continue to “connect the dots” from advancing basic climate science to promoting public awareness to advocating policy actions. In a letter to John Holdren, Hansen wrote, “The danger is that the minority of vehement antinuclear “environmentalists” could cause development of advanced safe nuclear power to be slowed such that utilities are forced to continue coal-burning in order to keep the lights on. That is a prescription for disaster.” In December 2015, Dr. Hansen held a press conference at the Paris COP issuing a challenge to global leaders to implement a diversified clean energy strategy that blends renewable and nuclear energy.  His opening statement included the following:

I like to emphasize the climate impacts that are irreversible. We are at a point now where it’s extremely dangerous. We are at the point where if the climate gets much warmer, we are going to get instability of ice sheets and sea level rise of at least several meters. And the consequences of that are almost incalculable. Half of the large cities in the world are on coast fronts.  The other thing that’s irreversible is extermination of species. If we stay on business as usual, IPCC estimates that by the end of the century, we could commit a quarter to a half of the species on the planet to extinction.

COP 23 Presentations by Dr. James Hansen & Michael Shellenberger: Nuclear Power? Are Renewables Enough?

Forbes, The Real Climate Consensus: Nuclear Power,James Taylor, August 3, 2017

John Holdren, Professor at MIT

Although nuclear energy is not a panacea for the climate problem, there is no panacea. [Nuclear energy] could make a significant contribution if we could make it expandable again. It would be easier to solve the climate problem with the help of nuclear energy than without it.

Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who has written for the Wall Street Journal, Slate and is a contributing writer for Grist, covering climate science, policy, and solutions

Tim DeChristopher called Eric Holthaus “one the best climate journalists in the country over the past few years.”  On January 12, 2018 Holthaus published Grist’s first pro-nuclear article writing: “global carbon emissions rose in 2017 by an estimated 2 percent. That increase comes amid the largest renewable energy boom in world history. That irony points to what I see as an inescapable conclusion: The world probably can’t solve climate change without nuclear power. Something big has to change, and fast, in order to prevent us from going over the climate cliff. Increasingly, that something appears to be a shift in our attitudes toward nuclear energy.”

Author of Grist.com article “It’s time to go nuclear in the fightagainst climate change,published January 12, 2018

Lady Barabara Judge, a lawyer, business executive, and the youngest person every appointed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In her talk on society’s distrust of nuclear power, Lady Barbara Judge outlines three things people and government bodies need to focus on when regarding energy policy. We need to focus on energy security (do we have enough energy?), energy independence (where is that energy coming from?), and climate change. Nuclear energy hits all three: nuclear produces energy at a high rate and we can build as many as we need, we can build them in our own country so we are energy independent, and nuclear energy is a carbon free energy source.  So, what’s stopping the world from converting? The truth is people don’t trust because they don’t understand nuclear. They only get over-dramatic journalists and screenwriters telling them about nuclear energy rather than scientists. In effect, people don’t understand that nuclear energy is safer, as it has a better accident rate than any other accident source. Lady Barbara Judge has made it her goal to try and educate people about nuclear so that we can build that needed trust with the industry.

Her talk on Youtube, “Why are people nervous about nuclear?” published April 7, 2017.

Richard Kauffman, serves as New York State Energy Czar under Governor Cuomo and was the author of the innovative clean energy program which sought to preserve the state’s clean nuclear power.

State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said in a statement that the closure of the upstate nuclear plants would have resulted in a spike in carbon emissions, just like Germany has experienced following its nuclear shutdowns. “(The program) gives time for the state to build renewable energy from wind, solar and hydro to achieve the mandate of 50 percent of electricity consumed to come from renewables by 2030. We would fall well short of these goals … if we suddenly lost the emissions-free power now provided by the federally licensed nuclear power plants in upstate New York,” he said.

Industry experts pointed to the pressures of cheap natural gas and New York’s ambitious carbon reduction goal as greater context for the subsidies and New York’s role as a pioneer. “I think New York was the first (state) to figure how to translate this carbon reduction goal into something that actually is a market signal through a zero-emission credit,” said Matt Crozat, senior director for business policy at the Nuclear Energy Institute.

John Kerry, former Senator, Secretary of State, presidential candidate

In comments made to a live audience, John Kerry said, “I remember the intensity of the nuclear debate, and I was on the other side of it. [Inserted video of prior statement as Secretary of State: ‘This administration does not support the Department of Energy’s Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor program, and we’ll oppose any efforts to continue the funding for this reactor project.’] But given this challenge we face today and gIven the progress of fourth generation nuclear, go for it! No other alternatives. Zero emissions.”

Pushker Kharecha, associate research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute,  Deputy Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

NASA scientist Dr. Pushker Kharecha and Dr. James Hansen (the leading climate scientist in the US) recently authored a study which conservatively estimates nuclear power has saved 1.8 million lives, which otherwise would have been lost due to fossil fuel pollution and associated causes, since 1971.

Ken Kimmel, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists and has more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy.

Despite his reservations about nuclear power, Kimmel recognizes that preserving our existing nuclear fleet is essential to our ability to move forward on reducing emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported that our chances of meeting the Paris agreements are slim and decreasing daily. Nuclear energy provides 20 percent of our electricity and most of our low-carbon electricity. Kimmel  understands that current nuclear power plants need to continue operating so that we can minimize carbon emissions.

See Ken Kimmell’s blog at Union of Concerned Scientists Why We’re Taking A Hard Look At Nuclear Power Plant Closures.

Representative Adam Kinzinger, (R-IL), co-sponsor of the HR 1320, the NUKE Act

Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced H.R.1320, the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy’ (NUKE) Act, which puts in place a framework for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) fees to increase transparency and provide long-term certainty for nuclear plants. On introducing the legislation, Congressman Kinzinger released the following statement: “Nuclear power is incredibly important for the district I represent, and for the country. Across Illinois, nuclear contributes nearly $9 billion annually and the four plants in my district employ over 3,500 people. I’ve visited these plants and know we need to make the regulatory process more efficient and transparent. I’m excited to introduce our bipartisan legislation today. The NUKE Act will create more certainty for nuclear plant operations, without compromising safety, and encourage greater investment for the next generation of nuclear power.”

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced H.R.1320, the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy’ (NUKE) Act on March 2, 2017

Steve Kirsch, serial entrepreneur, founder of seven companies, now CEO and founder of Token

“Google spent $250 million to research whether aggressive adoption of renewable energy would be sufficient to to halt global warming.  Their conclusion was simple:Renewable energy SIMPLY WON’T WORK.”  This means we need a power technology that can produce carbon free power on a reliable basis 24X7 that is not “renewable.”  There is only one option left on the table: nuclear energy.”

Ross Koningstein, Google’s first V.P. of Engineering, participated in Google’s RE

Co-authored What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change: Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us. So what will? with colleague David Fork. Wrote there: “At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope—but that doesn’t mean the planet is doomed. . . .What’s needed are zero-carbon energy sources so cheap that the operators of power plants and industrial facilities alike have an economic rationale for switching over within the next 40 years.”

Joe Lassiter, Harvard University Senior Fellow, Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, Retired

He focuses on one of the world’s most pressing problems: developing clean, secure and carbon-neutral supplies of reliable, low-cost energy all around the world. He studies how high-potential ventures attacking this problem are being financed and how their innovations are being brought to market in different parts of the world.  Author of “How “New Nuclear’ Could Save the World, If Regulators would Allow It.” 

David Leonhardt, Pulitzer Prize-winning Op/Ed  columnist for the New York Times

David Leonhardt wrote in his May 6th, 2019 review of climate news: “I’ve changed my mind on this issue, as I explained in this magazine article. I used to favor starting with a carbon tax or cap-and-trade program, because they seem to be the most efficient way to attack climate change. But they’re not efficient if they never pass.

So I’ve come to think a different approach makes more sense: to start with a combination of energy standards, like those in the Inslee and O’Rourke plans, and government subsidies for clean-energy research, production and use.

Elsewhere: Ryan Fitzpatrick of Third Way praises the plans for leaving room for nuclear power, which some progressives oppose. I agree. Nuclear should be part of the solution.”  [Emphasis added.]

New York Times, Op/Ed columnist, writing on May 6th, about climate policy.

Michael Liebreich, founder and senior contributor of BloombergNEF. He is also a former board member of Transport for London, and an advisor to Shell New Energies

Liebreich argues that it is no secret that we are in the midst of a global climate-crisis and the electricity sector currently plays the role as the biggest pollutant. Producing 42% of the carbon emissions annually, the electricity center needs to be the focus of conversation when reducing emissions. Last October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report saying that if the world was to head towards a 2° Celsius increase, we would need to decrease carbon emissions by 20% by 2030, and 45% by 2030 in order to meet a goal of a 1.5° increase. After 20 years of innovation and about $3 trillion dollars in investments, solar and wind only produce 7% of the world’s energy combined.  In order to achieve major carbon emission reduction in the energy sector, the world can not rely on solar and wind. In 2018, all 6,100 wind turbine in Denmark produced  13.9TWh worth of energy, while the EON’s Isar-2 nuclear power plant in Bavaria generated 11.5TWh. Because nuclear power is incredibly more efficient than wind and solar, “no plan can be considered credible if it does not deal explicitly with nuclear power.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France

President Macron has taken the most rational and factual approach towards answering the question of whether nuclear deserves a role in addressing climate change.  He has said that “Nuclear is . . . the most carbon-free way to produce electricity with renewables.” Given that renewable energy only amounts to a tiny share of French electricity production and nuclear generates 75 percent of it without emissions, Macron refuses to close France’s 58 nuclear power plants, because he knows it will mean increased emissions, as it did in Germany when German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to phase out nuclear energy. He watched them worsen their CO2 footprint so he doesn’t want to “do that.”

Dr. Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

McCarthy’s EPA encouraged an energy mix that included all sources of generation to provide for cleaner air while still “enabling economic growth.”  “Nuclear has a big role today in reducing carbon and that will continue, and we point this out to the states that existing facilities providing large baseload capacity must continue to operate,” McCarthy said. “Nuclear is truly zero carbon emissions.” McCarthy also emphasized the need for new nuclear plants, while acknowledging that the cost of new plants is challenging. “But as we move to a clean energy future I believe those costs will come down,” she said.

Dr. Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, a professor of physics at MIT and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative before becoming Secretary of Energy under former president Barack Obama

“As we approach the upcoming Paris climate negotiations, countries must put forward ambitious climate commitments.  The threat of climate change calls for global responses, including expanded use of nuclear power to produce the electricity needed to sustain rising standards of living of the world’s growing population.”  Ernest Moniz is one of the most vocal scientists supporting nuclear power as a necessary means to address global warming. For example, “Electricity generates more carbon dioxide in the United States than does transportation or industry, and nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-free electricity in the country,” Moniz wrote in Foreign Affairs.

Michael Moore, screenwriter, actor, activist

In a live interview with film director, Robert Stone, Moore said “You and I are religion fanatics, or have been, about anti-nuclerar, nuclear is bad.  So you and I should be the ones to lead the discussion [in recognizing the importance of nuclear to address climate change . . .].  We all know there isn’t 4 hours of sun every day in Michigan, and so on those days there’s no sun, how am I warming up my pizza?”

Richard Muller, University of California, Berkeley, Earth Climate program

Richard Muller – Richard Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, runs the Berkeley Earth climate program. He is also a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Muller was an outspoken climate skeptic who didn’t believe in climate change and believed that the studies showing climate change were wrong.  As a brilliant physicist, he set out to do his own studies and then generated media headlines by writing editorials in the Wall Street Journal emphasizing that Berkeley Earth temperature compilations support significant recent global warming and that climate change is real.

Lisa Murkowski, Senior Senator from Alaska, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee: Chairman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jim Risch (R-ID), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), in introducing the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) to direct the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize partnering with private innovators to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts. “Nuclear power is an essential part of our nation’s electricity supply. It’s clean, safe, efficient, and reliable,” said Senator Murkowski.  “Re-establishing American nuclear leadership by moving advanced reactors to market is necessary for our energy security and our national security. This bipartisan bill will promote public-private partnerships, enabling the development and deployment of advanced reactors, including micro-reactors – which are especially exciting to me as a potential solution for rural communities and remote military installations in Alaska.”

Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, co-founder of Intellectual Ventures

Nathan Myhrvold, co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, makes the case for nuclear power at the event, “What Will Turn Us On in 2030?: Competing With Fossil Fuels to Power the Future” held at the New America Foundation on October 19, 2011.  He has posted several other more recent videos, including this one from a 2017 interview in which he discussed toasters called “Nathan Myhrvold explains why the nuclear power option is needed … with toasters!”

Ted Nordhaus, Chairman, The Breakthrough Institute

Ted Nordhaus is a leading global thinker on energy, environment, climate, human development, and politics. His 2007 book Break Through, co-authored with Michael Shellenberger, was called “prescient” by Time and “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring” by Wired. (An excerpt in The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, “The Death of Environmentalism,” was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

Nuclear energy, according to the President, must be extracted from the partisan debates that have impeded US progress on multiple levels. At a 2010 labor meeting in Lanham, Maryland, when he announced a $8 billion loan to build the first new nuclear reactor in the United States in 30 years, Obama argued, “On an issue that effects our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, we can’t keep on being mired in the same, old stale debates between the left and the right and between environmentalists and entrepreneurs. . . . Investing in nuclear energy remains a necessary step. What I hope is that, with this announcement, we’re underscoring both our seriousness in meeting the energy challenge and our willingness to look at this challenge, not as a partisan issue, but as a matter that’s far more important than politics because the choices we make will affect not just the next generation but many generations to come.

Steven Pinker, Harvard University Professor and Author of Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now.

Steven Pinker is an experimental cognitive psychologist and a popular writer on language, mind, and human nature. He earned his PhD from Harvard in 1979, and taught at Harvard, Stanford, and MIT before returning to Harvard in 2003. Pinker’s research on vision, language, and social relations has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”  From Chapter 10.3: “Decarbonization needs to be helped along with pushes from policy and technology, an idea called deep decarbonization. The success of deep decarbonization will hinge on technological breakthroughs on many frontiers, including advanced nuclear technologies that are cheaper, safer, and more efficient than today’s light-water reactors . . .”

Willem Post, member of The Energy Collective: The world’s best thinkers on energy & climate

Willem Post earned a BSME from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an MSME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.  He presently serves as a consulting engineer and project manager performing feasibility studies and design and efficiency reviews for various industrial integrated energy systems. He is known for his critical analyses showing the analytic flaws in reports presented by Mark Jacobsen, such as that which he posted in August, 2015 entitled “US Energy Future — Energy Efficiency, Wind, Solar and Nuclear Energy.”

Rachel Pritzker, President and Founder of thePritzker Innovation Fund, Chair of the board of theBreakthrough Institute, Co-chair of the Energy Program at Third Way, Board member of the Center for Global Development, and a co-author of An Ecomodernist Manifesto.

Rachel Pritzker’s foundation, the Pritzker Innovation Fund, which works mainly on climate and energy issues, with the goal of developing and advancing “paradigm-shifting ideas to address wicked problems.” Wicked problems aren’t just complex problems; they are extraordinarily complex problems. Cited from a letter, signed by Rachel and many others, “Nuclear power plants in the U.S. are struggling against cheap natural gas, heavily-subsidized renewables and low electricity demand. At the same time, global demand for electricity is set to rise 70 percent in 25 years thanks to the rise of energy-hungry developing nations around the world. And technological advances mean that new nuclear reactor components can increasingly be mass-manufactured in factories and shipped around the world for assembly on-site. Meeting rising global demand for electricity with advanced nuclear reactors instead of coal will do more to reduce air pollution and mitigate climate change than any number of United Nations treaties.”

Environmental Progress’s reposting of “An Open Letter on Nuclear Energy to President-Elect Donald Trump and Governor Rick Perry, signed by EP and forty scientists, engineers and environmentalists, December 20, 2016.

Richard Rhodes, author of 26 books including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, and Energy: A Human History, published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.

Richard Rhodes is the author of twenty-six books including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award; Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, which was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize in History; and two further volumes of nuclear history. His latest book, Energy: A Human History, was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.  From Yale Environment 360: “What are nuclear power’s benefits? First and foremost, since it produces energy via nuclear fission rather than chemical burning, it generates baseload electricity with no output of carbon, the villainous element of global warming. Switching from coal to natural gas is a step toward decarbonizing, since burning natural gas produces about half the carbon dioxide of burning coal. But switching from coal to nuclear power is radically decarbonizing . . . .”

Jigar Shah, President & Co-Founder, Generate Capital; Founder, SunEdison, author of“Creating Climate Wealth”

“Nuclear and renewables need to join together in the climate fight, not compete. That’s been the conclusion of nearly every study of this subject — from the UN’s panel on climate change, to the best work of our national laboratories. The case for nuclear energy is strengthened by an emerging generation of nuclear plants that are likely to be much less expensive and safe, with lower waste.  Managing climate change is going to be a generational battle. We need all of the ammunition we have, and then some. New York’s recent decision wisely recognizes that extending the life of existing nuclear power plants is part of the solution. With the national climate change agenda now more uncertain than ever, it’s time to collectively get behind a pragmatic path forward.”

Huffington Post: BlogRenewables and Nuclear Can No Longer Afford To Be Foes by David Duchovny and Jigar Shah,December 12, 2016, updated November 22, 2017

Michael Shellenberger, co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, founder and president of Environmental Progress, candidate for California Governor

Michael Shellenberger is a leading global thinker on energy and the environment. He is cofounder and president of Breakthrough Institute, and co-author of An Ecomodernist Manifesto. His 2007 book with Ted Nordhaus, Break Through, was called “prescient” byTime and “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring” by Wired. (An excerpt in The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, “The Death of Environmentalism,” was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists.

Shellenberger has written many articles about our need to protect nuclear power generation in the U.S. and they are posted at EnvironmentalProgress.org

Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Richard Somerville is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is also on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which lists global warming as serious threat to human survival. Somerville frequently writes articles advising warmists how to press their argument, such as “Thanksgiving advice: How to deal with climate change denying Uncle Pete.”Distinguishing nuclear weapons – whose existence is strongly opposed by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – from nuclear power, Somerville told the 2015 annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society that we will not be able to address global warming without a significant increase in nuclear power.

Robert Stone, Filmmaker, creator of Pandora’s Promise

I’ve considered myself a passionate environmentalist for about as long as I can remember. My mother read me Silent Spring when I was nine and the specter of a Cold War nuclear arms race was not an uncommon topic around the dinner table in my family. So my anti-nuclear and environmental roots run very deep. My first film was an anti-nuclear weapons documentary, Radio Bikini, that premiered at Sundance in 1988 and went on to receive an Oscar® nomination for Feature Documentary. My film, Earth Days, which was Closing Night Film at Sundance in 2009, chronicles the rise of the environmental movement of my youth. In the course of making Earth Days, I began for the first time to see the deep pessimism that has infused today’s environmental movement, and to recognize the depth of its failure to address climate change. It was initially through getting to know Stewart Brand that I was introduced to a new and more optimistic view of our environmental challenges that was pro-development and pro-technology. From there I began to seek out and discover a small but growing cadre of people around the world who were beginning to stand up and challenge what had become the rigid orthodoxy of modern environmentalism.

It’s no easy thing for me to have come to the conclusion that the rapid deployment of nuclear power is now the greatest hope we have for saving us from an environmental catastrophe. Yet this growing realization has led me to question many of the founding tenets of traditional environmentalism, from the belief that we can dramatically reduce our energy demand through energy efficiency to the belief that solar and wind power will one day power the planet. The almost theological adherence to a set of unquestionable beliefs by most liberals and environmentalists has likely contributed as much or more to prolonging our addiction to fossil fuels as the equally appalling state of denial among many conservatives when it comes to climate change. Both sides are locked into rigid, self-righteous ideological positions with potentially disastrous consequences for us all unless we begin to face the facts.

Peter Thiel, Partner, Founders Fund, PayPal co-founder, early investor in Facebook, also co-founded CIA-backed big data startup Palantir

“The single most important action we can take is thawing a nuclear energy policy that keeps our technology frozen in time. If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power, so the choice is stark: We can keep on merely talking about a carbon-free world, or we can go ahead and create one.” From The New York Times Op Ed “The New Atomic Age We Need,” by Peter Thiel, November 25, 2015.

Bloomberg, Peter Thiel’s Other Hobby is Nuclear Fusion:Venture capitalists like the Trump stalwart are taking the lead in pursuing a clean energy silver bullet, by Eric Roston,

Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator from Rhode Island, and reknown environmental expert with a 95% LCV rating.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jim Risch (R-ID), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA)to direct the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize partnering with private innovators to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts. The measure authorizes the creation of a National Reactor Innovation Center that brings together the technical expertise of the National Labs and DOE to enable the construction of experimental reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would partner with the DOE in this effort, which would enable the NRC to contribute its expertise on safety issues while also learning about the new technologies developed through the Center. This measure strengthens the abilities of national laboratories to partner with private industry to prove the principles behind their ideas.

CLEAN NUCLEAR ENERGY, RESEARCH ADVANCED IN BIPARTISAN SENATE BILL:Private-public partnerships can improve research, drive innovation.

Tom Wigley, Senior scientist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Tom Wigley is a senior scientist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a group of more than 100 universities with a special focus on atmospheric science. Wigley, who is also a fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is “one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change and one of the most highly cited scientists in the discipline,” according to UCAR.

Forbes, The Real Climate Consensus: Nuclear Power, James Taylor, August 3, 2017

Andrew Yang, 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and a 2020 presidential candidate. He openly endorses Thorium, a type of nuclear power that doesn’t produce transuranic atoms and other byproducts of nuclear energy. Yang claims that the safety of nuclear energy “has been skewed by TV shows like Chernobyl and The Simpsons.” As president, he would spend  “$50 billion in research and development” of Thorium nuclear energy.

Popular Mechanics, Andrew Yang Want Thorium Nuclear Power. Here’s What That Means, David Grossman, August 27, 2019