By Chip Martin
Saving our planet. That’s the principal reason I applied to become the 2018 ANS Glenn T. Seaborg Nuclear Science and Engineering Policy Congressional Fellow. After I applied, interviewed and was selected, I was invited to work in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio’s 9th District), who is now in her 19th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kaptur was honored late last year for becoming the longest-serving woman in the House. This was a fortuitous pairing, as Congresswoman Kaptur is a longtime advocate for American energy independence and now chairs the Appropriation Committee’s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. There was hardly an appointment that had more potential for me to learn the role of policy in our energy future.
I became very interested in the Glenn T. Seaborg Science and Engineering Congressional Fellowship back in 2000 when I learned about it. The time was not right for me then, but a convergence of favorable conditions made the time right to apply in 2018. I wanted to be a direct contributor to the federal policymaking process.
I understand that nuclear energy is relatively more expensive today because of cheap natural gas; however, nuclear is clean, reliable, and can provide power even when the sun or wind cannot. The U.S. nuclear industry produces more power than any other country and is still the envy of the entire world. Our safety record, per-megawatt generated, is better than any fossil or renewable energy. This is the ‘elevator talk’ message that we need to hammer home in town hall meetings as well as the halls of Congress.
It’s unfortunate that the old saw says “a nuclear accident anywhere in the world affects nuclear power everywhere,” thus are the results with Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. In my opinion, U.S. involvement in power
By Chip Martin