The Breakthrough Institute, a nuclear-friendly environmental research center based in Berkeley, Calif., has announced the launch of mobilization efforts for its Build Nuclear Now project, in partnership with the similarly minded groups Stand Up for Nuclear, Generation Atomic, Mothers for Nuclear, Nuclear New York, and Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal.
In its June 13 announcement, the institute described Build Nuclear Now as a national campaign to motivate Americans in targeted states to back the regulatory and legislative changes necessary to speed up the licensing and deployment of advanced nuclear reactors. The campaign, supported by six-figure ad buys, also “aims to strengthen the state-level pronuclear groups through capacity building and resource sharing to amplify local voices advocating for advanced nuclear energy in communities across the country,” according to the announcement.
Words to regulate by: “Advanced nuclear energy will be the safest energy technology ever utilized by human societies and is necessary to deeply decarbonize the U.S. economy,” said Ted Nordhaus, the Breakthrough Institute’s executive director. “We have the tools and technology to shift the tide on climate change now and move the U.S. toward greater energy independence, and the biggest thing standing in the way is much-needed regulatory change. U.S. policies and regulations must be modernized to reflect major improvements in nuclear technologies, or we risk falling behind as a global leader in nuclear energy. It is critical that the NRC take a more balanced regulatory approach that considers the positive impact of advanced nuclear technology deployment on improving public health, improving overall safety of the U.S. energy system, and decarbonization.”
Adam Stein, the institute’s director of nuclear innovation, was a bit more blunt. “Overregulation of nuclear energy is imposing huge public health burdens on Americans, especially underserved communities, from air pollution,” he said. “The NRC is not carrying out its mission and legal mandate and is denying the American people access to clean, affordable energy. Instead, the NRC operates under a self-described mission focused primarily on a decades-old understanding of nuclear safety and technology that is not applicable to the new technology and tools that are currently being commercialized.”