Domestic energy policy has largely been co-opted by the shale revolution. Meanwhile, renewable alternatives are finding their sea legs in consumer power. Despite modest attempts to garner broader acceptance, however, atomic power continues to languish because of safety and environmental concerns.
On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a plan that allows nuclear waste to be stored on-site at active reactors—a decision mired in controversy, and one that underscores the influence of anti-nuclear arguments.
That sort of opposition has prompted the nuclear industry to go on the offensive, and roll out the big guns in an effort to rehabilitate its image. In recent months, the Nuclear Energy Institute has enlisted organized labor, as well as an array of former elected officials from both sides of the aisle, to tout the virtues of nuclear power.
They insist that in spite of surging oil and gas production, policymakers and utilities shouldn't "put all their eggs in one basket," Judd Gregg, a former U.S. senator and co-chair of Nuclear Matters, said in an interview with CNBC.