First, take a deep breath. It is difficult to do when it is your life and career day-in and day-out, but every once in a while, all of us moving in the clean tech space should stop and reflect on the breakneck pace at which everything around us is moving: technology, regulation, public awareness. Sure, maybe climate change legislation will not be through the Senate in time for Copenhagen (or at all this year, or even this Session), but that was an ambitious (and partly arbitrary) timeline. On the brighter side, today’s public discourse and political will on renewable energy and climate change would have been inconceivable among anyone but the green elite even five years ago.
Still, I cannot help but notice that one not-so-novel technology is getting a lot of renewed attention these days: nuclear power. Sure, in the industry we’ve all bought into the CW that “nukes are back,” but it always been accompanied by a “sort of” at the end. Microreactor technology has been a consistent “yeah, but” in that developing conversation. Then in their NYT Op-ed, Senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham blew the lid off of things with a commitment to good old-fashioned conventional nukes (alongside a commitment to drilling and clean coal that threatens to turn the Senate bill into little more than a symbolic accopmplishment).