As the world moves toward low-emission energy sources, nuclear power will inevitably increase in popularity. The U.S. this year finally approved the construction of a new nuclear power plant after decades of inactivity. More plants will soon be built here and elsewhere. The disaster in Japan after last year’s earthquake and tsunami is only a setback to nuclear development, not its death knell.
Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget justification has it right. The $150 million will help the U.S. “maintain global leadership in the effort to minimize the excessive spread of enrichment technology” and provide “the U.S. an unencumbered source of enriched uranium, critical in the near-term for the national security tritium production mission.”
This is a small price to pay for such insurance; the allocation would cover research and development expenses. But that will be enough to continue developing a modern, commercially viable domestic enrichment program. Happily, the Department of Energy is working closely with Congress to provide the funds needed both this year and next year.
A few radical environmentalists and scattered others who doubt the value of government interventions have threatened to undercut the vital national security interests that are at stake here.
But lawmakers of both parties have begun to line up behind the appropriation. Many more should do the same.
Retired Lt. Gen. Edward Rowny was chief negotiator with the rank of ambassador in the START arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union and served as an arms control adviser and negotiator for five presidents.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.