Sanders is against nuclear power.



I’m not a big fan of Sanders’ economics but at least he has to get everything through congress. If he gets elected he’ll set NP back another 4 years.

Dear God, please don’t make me choose between Trump and Sanders.

He has a lot of pie in the sky ideas. Although they sound great, this is one idea why I wouldn’t vote for him. He gets too kajumbled up by promising too much sometimes. Why can’t a candidate be for nuclear renewals AND funding/cost analysis for other energy resources? I’m all for adding solar and wind to the power mix.

Vermont’s experience with nuclear power has been… problematic, let’s say.

I’m originally from the southeastern corner of Vermont. Grew up about ten miles from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

The plant was, as best I can remember, plagued with technical problems. Every couple of years, there’d be a news story about it, and it was never good - a cooling tower had collapsed, or radioactive contamination had been detected in nearby groundwater (that one happened several times, as I recall), and one one notable occasion, they managed to misplace a sizable lump of spent nuclear fuel (after a few weeks of public concern, it turned out to simply have been in the wrong part of the storage tank).

My point is, when Bernie talks about the risks and challenges of nuclear power, he’s speaking from a certain amount of personal experience. Personally, I disagree with him on this issue - I think with proper oversight, nuclear power can be an important part of American energy generation for some time to come. But he’s not just making things up.

Don’t make that your one issue. So what if Sanders is against nuclear? I don’t like his support of guns. But come an election of Sanders vs any GOP, I’d pick Sanders 100 out of 100 times. If Sanders wins and does plan on suspending nuclear power, just live with it, we can do with less nuclear if it means millions of people won’t be deported, we won’t start another war in the middle east, and we won’t spend billions on a stupid wall that won’t work anyways.

I’ve got mixed feelings about nuclear power, but even if I thought it was the work of the devil, I think you’d have to be careful to phase it out only as sufficient replacement power sources came online.

At any rate, even if Sanders was elected and got the sort of Congressional Dem majority Obama had in late 2009 (won’t happen, obviously), he’d be unable to get that moratorium through Congress.

So I wouldn’t weight this very heavily in a decision of who to favor in the primaries, let alone the general election.

I’m pro-nuke, without a lot of patience for anti-nuke politicians. I would vote for him in the general, but not in a primary.

That is unfortunate; however, every single one of the GOP candidates scores far higher on the anti-nuclear-power scale via willingness to shower the full “pick up some lobster and filet mignon and drive off in your Caddy” treatment on the fossil-fuel welfare queens.

Meh. Welcome to the post-Fukushima world.

I must say, never seen a single issue voter FOR nuclear power. I think it’s a good thing and I would love it if we put money into the next generation of technology, but it ain’t exactly front and center of my concerns.

I consider AGW to be potentially the biggest long-term problem that we face and nuclear power to be the most likely solution (in as much as there is a solution). If Sanders is against NP then he is just as anti-science as the buffoons on the Republican side (although to his partial credit he is mostly neutral to GMO).

So I look at it this way: which president will do the most damage long-term? In Trump vs. Sanders, it’s Trump’s bungling of foreign policy against Sanders bungling of NP and the economy. The other factor would be if a Republican president had enough support in congress to overturn Obamacare. That would potentially swing it back to Sanders but I’d feel like I’d just stepped in a big pile of poo.

As all theologians of all schools must agree, God has a sick sense of humor.

As I understand it, wind power is now cheaper than nuclear power, and much less risky, well, both politically & environmentally. So while I wouldn’t advocate a blanket refusal to renew licenses like this, I think I can live with it, as a little to one side of where I think any politician worth his salary is likely to end up.

I know, not what you want to hear.

I have no problems with wind power except that it takes our eyes off of NP and makes people think it’s a viable alternative. Wind power simply doesn’t scale to the massive energy needs of westernized countries. The only current clean energy that could potentially meet our energy use is NP. Every anti-NP president sets us back another four years.

I would gladly take an anti-AGW Republican who was gung-ho about NP over Sanders. Get the plants started and then the next president can pass laws to curb emissions.

And in the present climate, you’d get a chorus of NIMBYism blocking nukes, and no carbon tax, and a gutted EPA.


You are not going to get broad-based support for nuke plants, post Fukushima, when micro-solar & concentrated solar, macro-hydro, and wind exist! I’m sorry. It sucks for people with technical skills in the industry, but it wasn’t going to last forever.

The writing has been on the wall for a long time.

Nuclear is a great technology that I think was delivered too soon to consumer power generation. The Generation II and earlier reactor designs are just too prone to problems here and there if anything goes wrong, and a lot of little minor shit problems that are endemic at all power plants matter can cascade into a big problem at a nuclear plant.

My understanding is the Generation III reactors, of which only a small handful have been brought online around the world, are what I think should be powering as many things as possible. When these reactors lose coolant for some reason (this is the primary scenario that leads to a serious problem with nuclear power plants) they are designed to naturally kill the reaction over time–so there is no possibility of a runaway reaction.

That leaves nuclear waste–spent fuel waste has always been a problem but burying it deep underground and transporting it in safe containers has always been a pretty reasonable solution, people have just been too crazy to let that happen in a reasonable way. Minor groundwater contamination can usually be mitigated and is often in amounts so small as to be meaningless. There was some groundwater contamination at a nuclear plant here in America a few weeks ago and the State environmental regulators and local college professors said that it almost certainly hadn’t made it into aquifers or streams that people drink from, and if it had made it far enough that it’d reach the nearby river it’d be in such small amounts that it’d be “undetectable.”

Personally I think the installed nuclear base is fine, but we shouldn’t install anymore Generation II reactors when Generation III reactor designs have now been brought to production. I actually supported the deployment of the older reactors too–and still stand by that, I think they present risks but at a “acceptable level”, the problem is I recognize the public at large disagrees with me–and they react to a very high degree over any problem at a nuclear power plant, so from a functional perspective I think Gen IIs were fine, but from a PR perspective they’ve done irreparable harm to the nuclear industry in America.

All that being said, I think solar farms may be the real answer now that technology has gotten them up to a competitive level and they show far more ability to be built out versus wind. Storage technology is still a problem, of course, and I still think nuclear has a part to play in being our “only on” solution. What will really happen is it’ll likely be natural gas that fills that role (and methane is a greenhouse gas with a much stronger immediate effect than carbon, but has a much longer lifetime in the atmosphere), which is fine I guess–but nuclear would be better for controlling global warming. Eventually battery technology will advance to the point where solar is without a need for much “reserve generating capacity” from other sources. Wind will be a niche player / regional player, it’ll make a lot of sense in some places and at some sites but solar I think is the bigger scale answer.

There’s a lot of place where solar just isn’t feasible. Take our subject’s home state of Vermont. Between the short days and occassional cloudiness, they get crap all sunlight in winter.

Wind cannot replace nuclear. Wind power is great, and we need more of that, too, but it can’t provide baseline. The only technologies that can provide baseline, on a significant scale, are fossil fuels, hydro, and nuclear. Hydro is the best of the lot, but it’s saturated: Every good place to build a hydro plant already has one, and it’s not enough. Fossil fuels are what we’re mostly using now, but long-term, they’re terrible, for a variety of different reasons. So yes, we really do need nuclear.

All that said, though… Even if I did consider this the most important issue, it still wouldn’t matter. Yes, Sanders is against nuclear power. So are all the rest of them. I’m left with a choice between a variety of anti-nuke candidates, and so I have to decide based on some other issue.

Sadly Trump and Rubio are pro-NP*. I can’t figure out what Cruz is for. Hillary sounds tepidly pro-nuke until she trots out the “what will we do with the waste” BS. Can we get at least one Democrat nominee who is pro-nuke? Sheesh.

(* - To be fair Trump might be confusing nuclear plants with nuclear bombs.)

Onshore wind is cheaper. Offshore is about twice as expensive. And to do anything with wind you gotta do offshore.

Additionally, wind farms onshore have been found to increase surface temps. Not only that, installing wind farms is really going to screw with local weather patterns. And birds don’t like email much either, since wind farms kill lots and lots of birds. And wind won’t scale. And, well, I could go on…


I thought newer windmills are pretty slow and bird safe mostly.