After fumbling over the Waxman-Markey initiative for several months, Republicans have finally hit their stride. Both House and Senate members are quickly falling behind the rallying cry, “100 New Reactors by 2030.”
“I think global warming is a real problem but I don’t think the solutions the Democrats are coming up with are going to accomplish anything,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), head of the Senate GOP caucus. “The only thing that’s going to allow us to cut carbon emissions is clean nuclear energy. We built 100 reactors between 1970 and 1990. We can do the same thing now. If global warming is the inconvenient problem, then nuclear power is the inconvenient answer.”
Alexander and three other Tennessee legislators were on hand Wednesday morning as Babcock & Wilcox introduced its new “mPower” 125-megawatt modular reactor that it will submit to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011. The $750 million reactor will be built in a factor and shipped to the site by rail, where it would be completely buried underground and refuel only once every five years. “Everything in this reactor would be made in America,” said Republican Bob Corker, Tennessee’s other senator.
Congressman Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.) warned that the United States is falling behind other countries in nuclear technology. “What we’re talking about here isn’t just a revival of the nuclear industry,” he said. “We’re talking about an American industrial renaissance.”