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Obama signals pro-nuke stance in Steven Chu pick January 20, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, international, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear, President Obama, reprocessing, Steven Chu.
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I welcome President Obama to the leadership of the United States. While Obama has always been a supporter of nuclear power, his pick for Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is especially encouraging.

On Jan. 13, Chu sat before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and confirmed the Obama administration’s strong desire to push our country “towards energy independence, ” including a “continued commitment to nuclear power.”

Chu affirmed he was “supportive of the fact that the nuclear energy industry is, and should have to be, a part of our energy mix in this century.” Alluding to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, Chu said he’s “confident that the Department of Energy, perhaps in collaboration with other countries, can get a solution to the nuclear waste problem” and that reprocessing of used nuclear fuel “can be a part of that solution … certainly recycling is an option that we will be looking at very closely.”

Chu also told Senators that he supports the loan guarantee program to use $18.5 billion as security to encourage lending for low-carbon generation technology.

“Nuclear power, as I said before, is going to be an important part of our energy mix. It’s 20 percent of our electricity generation today, but it’s 70 percent of the carbon-free portion of electricity today and it is base-load. So I think it’s very important we push ahead.”

As I blogged previously, Obama also made a good pick in his National Security Advisor, James Jones, a retired Marine general and former president and CEO of the Institue for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jones advocates a comprehensive overhaul to U.S. energy policy in the name of national defense.

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