Guest Commentary: Nuclear power critical to climate fight – by Stephen Antony (Denver Post – November 21, 2015)

Stephen Antony is president and CEO of Energy Fuels, a Lakewood-based integrated uranium mining company.

Nuclear power has the potential to emerge globally in the coming years. It’s incontrovertible: Honest efforts to fight climate change and air pollution will absolutely depend on nuclear energy. Moreover, achieving real energy independence will depend on nuclear energy. That makes these two goals very much intertwined.

The U.S. has greatly benefited from a shale revolution that has yielded billions of barrels of oil and gas. This has brought enormous economic benefits to America and made our nation less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

However, there is another key consideration: taking greater responsibility in providing cleaner energy to the world. I’m fully expecting the U.S. government to lead by example by becoming more proactive in addressing air pollution and carbon emissions. This will help drive increased use of renewables. But it also must lead to the U.S. recommitting to modern nuclear power in a big way.

This is a notion that actually appears to be taking root. For example, the White House recently recognized that nuclear energy must be a “vibrant component of the U.S. clean energy strategy.”

The Department of Energy launched Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear to support advanced nuclear designs with a clearer and faster path toward commercialization, something that should further solidify the role nuclear power will play in the president’s new Clean Power Plan.

Additionally, after much political wrangling, President Obama has officially rejected the Keystone XL oil pipeline plan. That should be followed up with additional, tangible backing for existing and future nuclear power plants, with fuel produced from our domestic uranium industry.

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