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January 13, 2017

Why Are Environmentalists Fighting Against Low-Carbon Energy Technologies?

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY) recently announced a deal to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Indian Point plant has been supplying New York City with energy for decades.

The Environmentalist Left, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and leading environmentalist Bill McKibben, have dismissed nuclear power despite the fact that a 2015 International Energy Agency (IEA) report concluded nuclear power was essential for the world to meet climate goals:

To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature increases to just 2 degrees Celsius (°C) by the end of the century, a halving of global energy-related emissions by 2050 will be needed. A wide range of low-carbon energy technologies will be needed to support this transition, including nuclear energy.

Better yet, new developments in reactor design promise even more efficient nuclear power in the future:

The new reactor design, which so far exists only on paper, produces 20 times as much power for its size as Oak Ridge’s technology. That means relatively small, yet powerful, reactors could be built less expensively in factories and shipped by rail instead of being built on site like conventional ones. Transatomic also modified the original molten-salt design to allow it to run on nuclear waste.