Fewer Nuclear Options

In "the first time a president has stepped inside a nuclear plant since Jimmy Carter rushed to Three Mile Island in 1979 to calm public fears," George Bush visited Maryland's Calvert Cliffs plant to promote "a new era of nuclear power." Part of the president's plan is to subsidize new plants. "Three consortiums of utilities are getting $539 million in taxpayer subsidies ... to seek nuclear construction licenses." The Senate energy bill would provide a further $10.1 billion to the nuclear industry, according to Public Citizen. Another sign of nuclear resurgence, writes the Los Angeles Times, is decreased opportunities for public input. "Under the old system, a nuclear utility first had to apply for a construction license and then seek a separate operating license after completing the plant. It gave protesters two chances to tie up a utility. Now, a single license is granted at the beginning."