Eisenhower’s Nuclear Legacy Holds Steady At Vogtle
(Full Op-ed is in the Augusta Chronicle)
America’s nuclear power enterprise, arguably the best in the world in the 20th century, wasn’t the result of a natural course of laissez-faire U.S. innovation, even though America certainly had the science and engineering expertise to do so. Rather, the development of a nuclear power program of this magnitude and scale required a public-private partnership whereby the inherent risks of research and development would be shared to reach a strategic objective–a national security objective. The rationale being, nuclear energy was of such national security importance that it couldn’t be left to market forces alone since markets couldn’t recognize national security value. Both the Republican and Democratic parties understood that U.S. leadership in nuclear science, engineering and technology was a matter of national security, as evidenced by their respective 1956 party platforms where both sought the mantle of U.S. nuclear champion.
America needs to regain that innovative, bipartisan vision from the days of President Eisenhower and shore up its nuclear science, engineering and technology enterprise to be competitive in the 21st century.
Currently, that vision is holding steady in Georgia, at Plant Vogtle Units 3&4.