Magazine article The American (Washington, DC)

Creating 'Green-Collar' Jobs: Expanding Nuclear Power Would Be Good for Both the Economy and the Environment

Magazine article The American (Washington, DC)

Creating 'Green-Collar' Jobs: Expanding Nuclear Power Would Be Good for Both the Economy and the Environment

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Barack Obama and John McCain both want to create 'green-collar jobs that will boost the economy and aid the environment. As a new report by the industry-backed Clean and Safe Energy Coalition points out, nuclear power "has the potential to supply tens of thousands of these jobs across the United States." America currently has 104 active nuclear reactors. In 2004, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and Bechtel Power Corporation estimated that the construction of 33 to 41 new Generation III reactors would add "approximately 610,000 jobs" to the U.S. economy, including (1) "37,000 to 38,000 nuclear manufacturing jobs," (2) "72,000 to 79,000 plant construction and operations jobs," (3) "another 181,000 to 250,000 indirect jobs in the nuclear power industry," and (4) "218,000 to 242,000 jobs in the nonnuclear industries throughout the country."

As Duncan Currie has written in these pages, low-carbon nuclear power is enjoying a nascent global renaissance, due largely to concerns over energy security and greenhouse gas emissions. Its supporters include such prominent greens as James Lovelock (developer of the "Gaia" hypothesis), Stewart Brand (creator of the Whole Earth Catalog), and Bruno Comby (founder of the group Environmentalists for Nuclear Power). Not only do nuclear plants help to slash carbon emissions, they also help to reduce mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Yes, nuclear reactors are expensive to build; but once the reactors are brought online, nuclear power is relatively cheap. …

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