Traditionally the Democratic party has been the anti-nuke party and it used to be political suicide to support nukes. Its only been recently that some environmental groups, namely Greenpeace, has been supportive of nuclear power and a less evil alternative to coal. Obama has only given tepid support for nuclear power since he knows it’s still a political hot button in some quarters of his own party.
Although this question was asked some time ago, recent news has changed the tone of political discourse regarding the future of nuclear power. While Obama touted nuclear as one of the “clean energy” alternatives that need to be further developed in his January 2011 State of the Union address, the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has made many wary of the dangers inherent with nuclear power. For now, Obama has ordered the Nuclear Regulation Commission to ensure the currently operating plants in the U.S. (there are 104) are up to par with safety regulations.
Previously, Obama had proposed setting aside an extra $36 billion (on top of the $18 billion already allocated) for building and improving new power plants. Twenty applications are now being reviewed by the government for new construction and several sites have submitted license renewal requests.
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