When it comes to nuclear energy, the outspoken American president Donald Trump has thus far been uncharacteristically quiet. Trump is certainly pro-nuclear. During his campaign he said nuclear power is “a valuable source of energy and should be part of a program for providing power for America long into the future”. More directly, Bloomberg reports it has seen a document from Trump’s transition team asking the US Energy Department how it can keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and help prevent shutdown of plants. The document also purportedly mentioned restarting the work on Yucca mountain, a proposed site for containing nuclear waste, the development of which was halted by the Obama administration. According to Bloomberg, five of the States’ nuclear plants have closed in the last five years, with more set to shut as their profits are squeezed by cheaper renewables and gas. American nuclear is arguably in a dire state – after all, it was propped up in part by Obama policies driven by the desire to avoid or mitigate climate change. Trump on the other hand feels ambivalent about climate change at best, and in active denial at worst.
The Week 20th March 2017 read more »