Senator Lamar Alexander, R-TN. Photo from Wikipedia. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-TN. Photo from Wikipedia.

Back in 2008, when presidential candidate John McCain was calling for construction of 45 new reactors in the U.S. (and presidential candidate Barack Obama was calling for “safe” nuclear power), Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander outdid his colleague: he issued a call for construction of 100 new nuclear reactors.

In 2008, the nuclear “renaissance” was in full swing. McCain’s call didn’t seem–at least to nuclear backers–far-fetched in the least. After all, the NRC at the time already had some 30 applications for licenses for new reactors. 

Nearly seven years later, McCain doesn’t talk much about nuclear power. President Obama’s Department of Energy approved a taxpayer loan for two new reactors at Vogtle, a move DOE may be beginning to regret as construction costs spiral out of control and the schedule delays keep pushing the project further back.  Otherwise, the president these days talks about…

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