Presidential Candidates on Nuclear Power

As a 501C3 organization, ATHF3 is not going to endorse a presidential candidate, or any sort of candidate for office. That doesn’t mean we can’t tell you about those candidates’ positions on the issue of nuclear power.

Donald Trump, Republican Party; from

The real estate mogul has made strong public statements supporting nuclear power, but tends to favor further development of natural gas.

In the aftermath of the 2011 Japan Fukushima nuclear disaster, Trump told Fox News “nuclear is a way we get what we have to get, which is energy.”
“I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy,” Trump said. “If a plane goes down people keep flying. If you get into an auto crash people keep driving.”

The permitting process for nuclear power needs to be reformed, Trump explained. He qualified this statement saying “we have to be careful” because nuclear power “does have issues.” Trump specified that he favored the development of natural gas over nuclear energy in the same interview: “we’re the Saudi Arabia times 100 of natural gas, but we don’t use it.”

Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party; from

Another area where Clinton differs from Sanders is on the question of what to do with existing nuclear power plants. Sanders wants to deny their applications for renewed permits and let them shut down according to their original schedules. Clinton wants to keep them running.

“Existing nuclear power plants don’t just provide 20 percent of all electricity generation [in the US],” Houser [one of the campaign’s lead energy wonks] says, “they still provide 60 percent of all zero carbon power generation in the country.” Hitting America’s international climate targets, he says, in part means ensuring that “those existing nuclear power plants that are safe to operate stay online.”

Clinton also wants to increase investment in advanced nuclear power.

Bernie Sanders, Democratic Party; from

Bernie has called for a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals in the United States. He believes that solar, wind, geothermal power, and energy efficiency are more cost-effective than nuclear plants, and that the toxic waste byproducts of nuclear plants are not worth the risks of the technology’s benefit. Ever the financial watchdog, Bernie has also questioned why the federal government invests billions into federal subsidies for the nuclear industry.

Jill Stein, Green Party; from

Q: Should the US replace oil & coal with alternatives?
A: Yes, but those alternatives should be renewable clean energy, not nuclear. Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive, and should be precluded on all of those counts. The Fukushima [nuclear disaster] is the ongoing example. There is no safe nuclear energy. You can put in in someone else’s backyard or even on the other side of the world–but we’re all endangered by it. And we don’t need it: Renewables are less expensive. Nuclear power would never survive on a free open market. It can only survive with tens of billions $of taxpayer loan guarantees.

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party; from

We learn he “supports nuclear power” (in 2011).

From, the word “nuclear” does not appear. Apparently, he does not consider it to be much of an issue.

There are, at this time additional people seeking the nomination of the Green Party, and there are others seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party. I believe the people chosen as examples are likely to be the actual nominees, and in any case I hope the examples given are sufficiently representative of their parties.

Art Myatt

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