Obama Budget Plan Slashes Help for Restarting Nuclear Power
May 9, 2009 • 10:30AM

The pretense that the Obama Administration is somehow more reasonable on the vital question of nuclear energy, is totally dropped in the President proposed fiscal 2010 budget.

The proposed budget calls for ending a research program for using nuclear power plants to develop hydrogen fuel for transportation, and cancels further subsidies to the nuclear industry, which subsidies were provided to help pay for licensing and planning new nuclear power reactors. All told, these cancellations would immediately eliminate $168 million that had been earmarked to help bring on new reactors.

In fact, the cost of not investing in nuclear power is incalculable—the death of the United States as a viable economic power, playing its rightful place in developing the planet.

A glimmer of this reality was evident at a conference on nuclear infrastructure held in Washington, D.C. yesterday, which discussed the potential for going forward with new nuclear plant construction. Working from the absurd carbon dioxide emissions goals set by the Administration, Karen Harbert, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, declared that this could be done by building 130 new nuclear power plants. The alternative, she said, would be to build 127,500 wind turbines, or devote an area 5.5 times the size of Iowa to biomass. Without doing one of those three things, she argued, the United States would sink to the energy level of Bangladesh.

Harbert said the Administration is doing nothing to help the nuclear industry. In reality, it is now trying to take away the little support it had.