Rep. Dan Crenshaw writes op-ed for The Hill in support of nuclear

March 9, 2021, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe


In an opinion piece published last Friday in The Hill, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) says that the Biden administration should focus on nuclear power in order to provide clean and reliable power to the grid. Speaking from the recent experience of dealing with the polar vortex that greatly affected the Texas electric grid, Crenshaw said, “People all over the world are . . . demanding cleaner energy that reduces carbon emissions. The Biden administration believes we can do this by prioritizing solar and wind energy. They’re wrong.”

Crenshaw continued, “If the Texas grid was solely or even mostly reliant on renewables last month, our situation would be far more dire. So how do we achieve both a massive reduction in emissions while also maintaining reliable baseload energy? Nuclear.”

Clean energy: Crenshaw then discussed how the accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima have generated negative views toward nuclear power in the media and with the general public. These negative views have biased any public discourse about nuclear power, including the discussion about nuclear waste. This has led to nuclear not being categorized as “clean,” according to Crenshaw, adding that since nuclear isn’t listed in the same category as solar and wind generation, “Solar power gets 250 times more subsidies than nuclear, and wind gets 160 times more.” He also noted that nuclear fuel is vastly underutilized, citing the Nuclear Energy Institute's Maria Korsnick, who said, “Reprocessing is a very interesting part of the solution set.”

Growth strategy: Crenshaw said that even though nuclear is a clear benefit to the national grid, the cost of plants and the lack of subsidies have kept utilities from investing in nuclear generation. “Legislation such as the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, the Advanced Fuel Availability Act, and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act have all received bipartisan support in Congress . . . . It’s time to pass them.” Crenshaw concluded, “If we want to tackle climate change, reduce emissions, and power the grid, then we need the proper mix of energy. We need to make sure that nuclear not only stays on the grid, but grows on it.”

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