28 September 2008

Is Obama Serious about Nuclear Power?

Anti-Nuclear Hysteria May Still Have an Effect on Public Policy

As a full disclosure, myself and OleGreyDog may need employment in the near future, and that box of cookies we sent with our resumes to Lehman Brothers may have been a futile action seeing how they've gone tits up. Since we are already confirmed nuke power nerds, putting shameless self-interest into our election decision is desirable to secure future subsidies for our drinking habits.

McCain and Obama had a bit of a testy exchange on nuclear power at yesterday's debate. Transcipt:

MCCAIN: No one from Arizona is against solar. And Senator Obama says he's for nuclear, but he's against reprocessing and he's against storing. So...

OBAMA: That's just not true, John. John, I'm sorry, but that's not true.

MCCAIN: ... it's hard to get there from here. And off-shore drilling is also something that is very important and it is a bridge.

And we know that, if we drill off-shore and exploit a lot of these reserves, it will help, at temporarily, relieve our energy requirements. And it will have, I think, an important effect on the price of a barrel of oil.

OBAMA: I just have to respond very quickly, just to correct -- just to correct the record.

MCCAIN: So I want to say that, with the Nunn-Lugar thing...

LEHRER: Excuse me, Senator.

OBAMA: John?

MCCAIN: ... I supported Nunn-Lugar back in the early 1990s when a lot of my colleagues didn't. That was the key legislation at the time and put us on the road to eliminating this issue of nuclear waste and the nuclear fuel that has to be taken care of.

OBAMA: I -- I just have to correct the record here. I have never said that I object to nuclear waste. What I've said is that we have to store it safely.

Obama seems to be taking a middle ground approach on nuclear power, and his energy page has a bunch of pictures of trees and wind turbines, but nothing on splittin' atoms. However, I was able to dig up this video where he discusses some nuclear issues at a campaign rally:

Obama talks about keeping his kids safe, and that nuclear plants need to prove that they are safe (yawn). Pretty dishonest comment seeing how the worst nuclear accident in American history (Three Mile Island) didn't result in anyone getting injured. Meanwhile, every time an oil refinery blows up and leaves a pile of stiffs in its wake, it barely makes a dent on any politician's radar. Obama also mentions that he is against the Yucca mountain depository, which would provide a permanent storage solution for high-level waste. His criticism of the high-cost of nuclear power is justified, but with the cap and trade program he advocates, it could become more economically viable. So, Senator, hopefully you'll come around to support nuke power, and if you don't, remember that there's no bigger a nuisance in the modern age than an unemployed blogger.