In a letter to the Financial Times, Heather Hoff and Kristin Zaitz of Mothers for Nuclear write that nuclear power is the safest way to generate reliable electricity. "Right now, across the US, we are closing perfectly good existing nuclear plants because of low natural gas prices and discriminatory policies that, in the name of climate action, support renewables but not carbon-free nuclear energy," they wrote.

Heather Matteson, reactor operator and procedure writer at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (Image: Mothers for Nuclear)

They continued: "When existing nuclear plants close, they are almost always replaced by fossil fuels. Even if we make big gains on adding renewables, the strategy of replacing one clean energy source with another means backwards or no progress on climate. It also means that we pay more: building new clean energy to replace existing clean energy means spending money for little to no actual emissions reductions. This high cost for low progress is also causing polarising political conversations when it comes to action on climate.

Kristin Zaitz, Mothers for Nuclear co-founder

"Instead of continuing to rely on the renewables-only bandwagon, we need to focus on building public support for nuclear energy. There is growing public awareness on the importance of using science to inform our decisions as a nation. The science is clear - nuclear is the safest way of generating reliable electricity. Of all of the 'clean' energy sources, nuclear occupies the smallest land footprint per unit of energy produced, and we have the technology right now. We cannot continue to delay action on climate until some future solution is produced."

Hoff and Zaitz, who work at Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant, founded Mothers for Nuclear to foster dialogue with those who are sceptical about the use nuclear energy.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 14 January 2020
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