U.S. ‘very bullish’ on new nuclear technology, Granholm says

GLASGOW, Scotland — In an job interview at the U.N. Weather Adjust Convention, Secretary of Electrical power Jennifer Granholm told Yahoo News on Friday that the Biden administration is “very bullish” on building new nuclear reactors in the United States.

“We are incredibly bullish on these highly developed nuclear reactors,” she reported. “We have, in fact, invested a whole lot of cash in the exploration and growth of individuals. We are very supportive of that.”

Nuclear electricity is controversial among the environmental activists and experts since while it does not generate the greenhouse gasoline emissions that trigger local weather modify, it has the likely to cause harmful nuclear meltdowns and creates radioactive nuclear waste.

Most of the Biden administration’s work to cut down reliance on fossil fuels, and practically all the rhetoric at the climate improve conference, also regarded as COP26, is about promoting other clean kinds of electrical power, this sort of as wind and solar energy.

But Granholm pointed out that wind and solar are not but capable of creating “baseload” potential, indicating electric power that can be reliably ramped up to fulfill demand even when the wind is not blowing or the sunshine is not shining.

President Biden stands at a podium as he delivers remarks about the October jobs report at the White House.

President Biden in the Point out Eating Home at the White House on Friday. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

“Half of the United States’ cleanse energy now — when I say ‘clean’ I’m conversing about net-zero carbon emissions — is by means of the nuclear fleet,” she noticed. “If you appear at the in general energy, it is about 20 percent. Globally, 29 % of the clean energy is nuclear.”

Granholm implied that there is no longer a considerable danger of nuclear meltdowns like the notorious earlier incidents at A few Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

“These innovative nuclear reactors, and the existing fleet, are risk-free,” she mentioned. “We have the gold common of regulation in the United States.

“And they’re baseload power,” she continued. “The holy grail is to establish cleanse, baseload electric power. … Nuclear is dispatchable, clean baseload energy, so we want to be in a position to carry extra on.”

A further objection from critics to constructing new nuclear power reactors is that performing so is extra pricey than competing forms of strength, and that subsidies for it would be better spent on renewables. Granholm tackled that objection head-on, with no even currently being questioned about it. She argued that the emerging technologies of tiny, modular reactors will be additional reasonably priced than the hulking behemoths of yore.

The towers of a nuclear power plant in Gundremmingen, Germany.

A nuclear electricity plant in Gundremmingen, Germany, on Feb. 26. (Lennart Preiss/AFP through Getty Visuals)

“Now, the kick is that it is highly-priced, nuclear is much more costly, and so we want to make certain that these more compact, modular reactors are considerably less high-priced,” Granholm explained.

“There’ve been a number of them, a few of them, that are on a type of pilot demonstration mode,” she additional. “For illustration, TerraPower in Wyoming place a small advanced reactor

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