There is currently a near consensus agreement that we must reduce our carbon emissions and we need a reliable new source for clean and affordable energy. But when it comes time to decide which route will lead to a safe and secure future for American energy, the debate gets heated.

When nuclear energy was introduced to the world it offered the promise of safe, cheap electric power, but after Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island the public’s perception of nuclear power drastically changed. Much to the chagrin of many green advocates, the world’s growing concern regarding climate change and carbon emissions has brought nuclear energy back as a viable alternative in our quest for clean energy.

Nuclear is by far the cheapest and most effective energy alternative available at our disposal. The public’s demand for reduced energy costs and cleaner sources of power are making nuclear a more attractive prospect. But there is a long list of hurdles that nuclear must overcome before the American public will readily accept it as an option. These include terrorist attack, waste disposal, the fact that nobody wants a nuclear plant in “their backyard” and of course the catastrophic effects of a nuclear meltdown. Policy makers will definitely be weighing the pros and cons of nuclear. John McCain has already stated that he is a supporter and Obama has shown that he would at least consider nuclear as an option.

France has seemingly decided where they stand on the issue; they currently derive 80% of their power from nuclear and are currently in the process of building several more plants. These plants will not only supply France but also it’s neighbors who are not as readily accepting of the nuclear option. The decisions that are made during the next few years will decide the energy policy and infrastructure of the United States for many years to come.  The question that must be answered is: Is the threat of Global Warming strong enough to justify the prospect of nuclear power or has green energy technology advanced to a point where we can be sure that it can provide for our energy needs now and in the future.

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