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Supporters of nuclear power now include environmentalists

The threat of climate change and the unreliability of electrical grids, in addition to growing fears about national security, are steering a sea change in the minds of environmentalists, many of whom now view nuclear power as a boon to society in tackling multiple crises.

Uri Berliner of National Public Radio reports on the remarkable turnarounds worldwide where resistance to nuclear power is beginning to ebb:

  • "In California, the state's last remaining power plant — Diablo Canyon, situated on the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles — long scheduled to be scrapped, may now remain open. Governor Gavin Newsom, a longtime opponent of the plant, is seeking to extend its lifespan through at least 2029."

  • "Last week, Japan's prime minister said the country is restarting idled nuclear plants and considering building new ones. This is a sharp reversal for the country that largely abandoned nuclear after the tsunami-led disaster at the Fukushima plant in 2011."

  • "Germany pulled the plug on nuclear after Fukushima, too. But this summer there's been an intense debate in Germany over whether to restart three plants in response to the country's severe energy crisis prompted by the Russia-Ukraine war."

The reversal of action for Diablo Canyon is especially noteworthy, Berliner writes, "because California is the birthplace of America's anti-nuclear movement."

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