November 15th, 2007
10:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama goes nuclear

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When asked by CNN's John Roberts about his opposition to Nevada's Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository, Sen. Barack Obama, whose home state of Illinois gets 40 percent of its power from nuclear energy, said "I don't think nuclear power is necessarily our best option. It has to be part of our energy mix."

Obama said he supported the development of new ways to safely store nuclear energy, eliminating the need to transport nuclear waste across the country. Obama also said he supported charging polluting companies for their pollution output, with the money raised being reinvested in clean forms of energy.

- CNN Contributor Jamie Gray

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Fred, Reston VA

    Nuclear Power plants???? How naive. This is not some video game Sen Obama. Nobody wants to live near a nuclear facility. Hillary clearly stated she is not for Nuclear Power Plants, and outlined the better options available.

    Don't be selfish because YOUR state reaps the benefits. I don't want your waste anywhere my family, anyone I care about, or any human being because they deserve better.

    America deserves better than you sir.

    November 15, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  2. Paul Moore, Minneapolis, MN

    I was extremely disappointed in Senator Obama in his response to this question. Instead of stating what should be done with the waste in his state, he deflected and started going off about being "hopeful" once again!

    This man does not have enough policy knowledge to be President.

    Clinton and Biden, on the other hand, gave strong substantive answers.

    November 15, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Jim L., Irmo, SC

    Everyone has to face the fact that nuclear power is a part of the near future and the best transition away from filthy fossil fuels. He was not suggesting that it be permanent. In fact, he was talking, realistically, about moving away from it.

    November 15, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  4. Jasper, Boston MA

    I don't believe tha nuclear energy should be part of the mix, as this politicking statement implies, but Obama gets my vote for recognizing that the most pressing problem resulting from nuclear energy is the way waste is stored. No country on the planet has yet come up with an even half-way safe way to do that, so that is crucial, even to those who would shut down nuclear power in the US the day they take office: there are a hundred plus reactors out there that will need to be decommissioned and that waste has to go somewhere and be stored in a fashion that will NEVER cause any harm, whether that storage takes place in the most remote corner of Bush's Crawford Ranch or in the middle of your living room, Fred.

    November 15, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. Eric, Edmonds WA

    NIMBYism over the nuclear issue is a giant threat to adequately dealing with our energy problems. Renewables like solar, wind, and hydro are wonderful and all, but there are significant limitations to how much of the total energy make up they can represent.

    For the backbone of the power supply you pretty much have two choices: nuclear and coal. If you believe that global warming is a huge threat, then that reduces your choices to just nuclear. Nuclear is more expensive than coal because the capital costs of building reactors are high, but not unreasonably so.

    The risks of nuclear are also largely overblown, especially when compared to the alternative. Chernobyl was the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power, and was a result of mistakes and poor design so gross that something of that scale is more or less impossible to occur in a western reactor. It is hard to put a number on the deaths resulting from the long term effects of the radiation, but the estimates vary from the thousands to the high tens of thousands. Contrast that with coal power, which is estimated to cause the premature deaths of roughly 24,000 annually. It only takes a few years of coal power for its toll to be worse than all of the history of nuclear power.

    I wish Obama would have talked about dealing with the waste by bringing up breeder reactor technology, which recycles and mitigates the problem. Unfortunately, Carter banned that for weakly founded political reasons and no President since has worked up the will to over turn that.

    November 16, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. Ivelisse

    I have always havd doubts about this air-head....but this did it!!!


    nuclear power is one of the most dangerous things we can do.... not only NOBODY wants to be near a nuclear power plant, NOBODY WANTS THE WASTE!!!! if Mr. Obama wants a nuclear power plant, he have to solve the "waste-disposal issue"....

    so, until the waste produced right now is taken care off, we shoudl not even think about another nuclear plant...

    and for the person that mention that France get 80% of it's energy from nuclear, please reseach how they get rid of the waste... you will be surprised!!!

    November 16, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  7. rob, austin

    he didn't have an answer prepared for this one (in my oppinon). it seemed like he was searching and trying to buy time for the "right" answer to the question in his head. it made appear to have fumbled.

    it also seemed like a good bait question his state probably ships out the waste to Nevada.

    November 16, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Sohpie, Dallas TX

    Good answer Barack!

    November 16, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Yep I see no one falling for this Post. This is a serious issue that should not be slighted.

    Fortunately, Most people are online networking their NEWS with each other. The older folks do it while at work. The younger folks do it on Laptops, emails, IPODs etc.

    That’s why this Debate to Prop up Hillary and disgrace all others will not work as well as it would have 15 years ago when folks got all their News from TV. Because everyone got the word out via the internet on what CNN did and this may actually back fire on CNN / Hillary.

    November 17, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  10. jasen from wisconsin

    Obama;s second largest single sourceof campaign contributions have come from Exelon Corporation, the operator of the largest nuclear reactor fleet in the country. To date, Center for Responsive Politics reports well over $150, 000 in donations from individuals or committees affiliated with Exelon. This is the same Exelon that is being sued for radioactive tritium contamination of groundwater in Will county Il, south of chicago. 4 of Exelon's plants in Illinois have been shown to be leaking tritium into local aquifers.

    I could seriously go on and on about Exelon, I have friends down there that have to use bottled water for everything – washing, themselves, brushing teeth, etc. A better idea than taking my word for it is doing some research yourself. Find out about the cost overruns that the taxpayer picks up with nuclear energy, find out about the proliferation of weapons from civilian power plants.

    December 28, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |