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Letter: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a media phenomenon

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The Green New Deal (GND) (is) a non-binding resolution introduced by several members of Congress 2019.

I read a lot of science and technology articles, listen to a lot of podcasts about technology and view videos of current presentations about technology both here in the U.S., and also certain sources in Europe. The Green New Deal has taken the media by storm and no one knows what it really is, even Alexandria (Ocasio-Cortez ). The best consequence of her media phenomenon is that everyone is talking about nuclear energy as a missing piece of her Green Dream.

An influencer is a person who has the power to influence many people and would be supportive for or against something — and in the case of the GND, nuclear and oil and gas are both on the ‘against’ platform. It is Alexandria’s media charm that has gotten everyone talking, and joking, about how ridiculous the GND is, but it has actually taken the technophobia out of nuclear energy.

Yes, Alexandria has created more positive press and exposure for nuclear energy than world renowned Jim Hanson (environmentalist) or Bill Gates (philanthropist). However, there is very little Alexandria will be able to do for nuclear energy in only two years.

Last September, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA). That bill calls for construction of a versatile test reactor at Idaho National Labs by 2026. NEICA also directed the Department of Energy to establish a National Reactor Innovation Center, a place where private-sector companies can come and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts. Passage of this key piece of legislation shows that this president and last year’s Congress understood nuclear energy’s importance to the nation’s economy, national security and environment.

In 2012, a Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s nuclear future submitted its final report to the Secretary of Energy recommending immediate efforts to commence development of at least one geologic disposal facility and at least one consolidated interim storage facility (HI-STORE CISF in Carlsbad) as well as efforts to prepare for the eventual-scale transport of unused nuclear fuel from current storage sites to those consolidated facilities via railroad.

Let the nuclear renaissance begin.

Martin Kral
Roswell