Knoxville, Tenn. (May 27) – The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is calling U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s recently announced plan to build one hundred new nuclear reactors across the country within the next twenty years a costly mistake. Building expensive new nuclear reactors with a price tag between $5-7 billion dollars apiece would harm the economy by stifling innovation of clean, safe forms of energy, leaving ratepayers and future generations paying the bill for a reckless national energy policy recommendation. At these cost estimates for new nuclear reactors, Sen. Alexander’s proposal could cost the country $500-700 billion.
“It is unfortunate that Senator Alexander keeps pushing for the resurgence of an expensive technology to meet tomorrow’s energy needs when so many affordable and safe energy choices exist,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “This is more a program of corporate welfare for big power companies and the nuclear industry. This industry continues to ignore the long-term negative ramifications of increasing our nation’s reliance on an energy technology that threatens current consumers and future generations with high price tags and mounds of radioactive waste.”
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has consistently supported energy efficiency and conservation efforts along with renewable energy development as the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. Recently, the organization released several reports that show the region’s ample renewable energy resources, which can provide local jobs to support a healthy economy.
“Senator Alexander and his supporters in Congress need to admit that nuclear power is a problem, not a solution,” Smith said. “New nuclear reactors are expensive, create significant water use and thermal pollution risks to our communities, and produce radioactive waste that after fifty years we still have no long term solution for. This proposal is as irresponsible as it is expensive.”
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy continues to follow nuclear energy developments in the Southeast. For additional information, please visit http://www.cleanenergy.org/learn-about-nuclear-plants. # # #