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Outside The White House, Much Of The World Is Going Nuclear

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President Joe Biden’s weak standing in public opinion polls is so dangerous for incumbent Democrats that party colleagues up for reelection in 2022 may soon be chanting, “Let’s go, Brandon!”

Part of Mr. Biden’s problem is that much of his agenda is disconnected from the current challenges facing the country.

The federal government has pumped so much money into the economy that for the moment increasing numbers of Americans don’t even feel the need to work—yet his top legislative priority is to spend trillions more.

It’s not just the historic amount of money that is troublesome. The pending reconciliation bill would pour gargantuan subsidies into renewable energy projects that even some of the most ardent climate activists in the world are beginning to abandon.

Outside of the leadership of the Democratic Party in the U.S., politicians worldwide are moving toward embracing the energy source that can reliably generate significant power without greenhouse gas emissions—and without a large geographic footprint.

Michael Shellenberger writes on Substack:

National leaders around the world are announcing big plans to return to nuclear energy now that the cost of natural gas, coal, and petroleum are spiking, and weather-dependent renewables are failing to deliver.

Anna Gross reports from Paris for the Financial Times:

President Emmanuel Macron has said France will invest €1bn in nuclear power by the end of this decade as Europe’s energy crisis spurs renewed interest in the contentious source of power…

Early in his presidency Macron announced the intention to shut 14 reactors and cut nuclear’s contribution to France’s energy mix from 75 to 50 percent by 2035.

But the mood has now changed. Macron said on Tuesday he would begin investing in new nuclear projects “very quickly”.

“We will continue to need this technology,” he said.

Even committed leftists like filmmaker Michael Moore have figured out that wind and solar energy projects have been oversold.

Ms. Gross notes that the views of French citizens are also evolving:

While a recent opinion poll by Odoxa found that the French public is still on the whole more favorable to wind power than nuclear, at 63 percent compared with 51 percent, French citizens’ support for nuclear has increased 17 percentage points over the past two years, while positive perceptions of wind power have decreased by the same amount.

According to the same survey, nuclear power is judged to be less expensive than wind and less damaging to the landscape, as well as being a field in which France is “more advanced than its neighbors”.

Meanwhile, Sakura Murakami reports for Reuters from Tokyo:

Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, defended his pro-nuclear energy policies on Monday, saying that re-starting nuclear power plants mothballed since the 2011 Fukushima disaster was vital.

Energy became a key issue during the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) recent leadership race, during which Kishida beat Taro Kono, a former vaccine minister who had spoken out against nuclear energy, to become prime minister.

“It’s crucial that we re-start nuclear power plants,” Kishida said as he faced opposition questions in parliament for the first time since becoming prime minister last week.

Oliver Wright recently reported in The Times of London:

Ministers are backing a multibillion-pound plan to build another large-scale nuclear power plant in Britain to ease pressure on electricity supplies as the country moves towards net zero.

The government is in discussions with the American nuclear reactor manufacturer Westinghouse about a proposal to develop a new plant on Anglesey in North Wales.

The project would be in addition to a second nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, which is under construction, and a proposal for a new reactor at Sizewell, Suffolk, that is at an advanced stage of planning.

“What explains the change? Rising energy prices and growing popular and political support for nuclear,” writes Mr. Shellenberger, who adds:

Finland has joined France, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic in lobbying the European Union to categorize nuclear power as sustainable. According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Finland’s pro-nuclear lobbying marks a U-turn within the Green Party, which is part of the current government.

He concludes:

There is no technical fix to the stigma that has hung over nuclear energy since its creators, including Robert Oppenheimer, condemned it, out of guilt for having created the bomb, and the political Left in the Western World turned against it. Public opinion must be won back the hard way, through building a pro-nuclear movement, testifying before governments, and publishing cutting-edge analyses…

Is there time to win the hard way against the Biden plan to convert the U.S. economy to more costly, less reliable forms of energy?

h/t Steve B.

Read more at WSJ

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