Atomic power is gaining currency in the global energy market, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman told CNBC this week, arguing that nuclear should be considered part of the arsenal in the fight against global warming.
"It's not a silver bullet that will solve our energy problems … but if you care about clean air and heavy dependence on fossil fuels … nuclear should be part of the overall consideration," said the two-term governor, who now co-chairs the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy), an advocacy group funded by the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Nearly three years after a tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi station, nuclear's proponents are trying to exorcise the demons that have haunted the sector. With the U.S. ramping up oil and gas production, though, nuclear energy has dropped off the radar.
Whitman, a former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, said it would be a mistake to push nuclear power out of the picture. Despite the large investment costs and the risks associated with storage and contamination, it should remain part of the energy conversation, she told CNBC in an interview.