by Will Davis
Looking at the news every day these days, remembering of course that algorithms collate content for me quite often on various platforms, it seems that there’s some considerable momentum growing for nuclear energy here in the United States.  What’s troubling is that while there is a growing sense of urgency, I also see a continued, repeated focus in far too many articles on ‘probably in ten years’ technologies.  If there’s really an urgency, it seems probable that looking to the next hill is ridiculous while we’re getting ready to die on this one.  If we really do need urgency, what do we do?  Here are a few suggestions – feel free to add some constructive or additional ideas in the comments.
1.  Open Yucca Mountain.  We continue to see hard opposition to nuclear energy in many places and, in fact, even bans on new construction because we have no long-term used fuel storage.  Yucca Mountain, as has been stated (again) recently by the Secretary of Energy, is the law of the land.  Despite former NRC Chairman Jaczko’s partisan and, likely, illegal defunding of the Yucca effort it turns out that the NRC is not after all a fourth branch of government.  It’s a regulator – and as such, it needs to follow the nation’s laws.  Getting the government to finally obey its own law (OUR law, since we’re the government) and take used fuel from existing nuclear plant sites (whether the plant’s still there or not) is a primary goal to the rapid build of any kind of nuclear energy here.  So it’s job one.
2.  Figure out GW-class LWR plants.  Folks, it’s a fact- the rest of the world that’s demanding large builds of nuclear energy is asking for and getting gigawatt-class light water reactor nuclear power plants.  It’s

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