STEVEN F. HAYWARD
Japan’s nuclear disaster came at a time when nuclear power seemed poised for a new birth in the United States. Opinion polls have shown rising support for nuclear power over the past decade, after more than two decades of opposition. More significantly, environmentalists were slowly, tentatively abandoning their reflexive opposition to nuclear power because of the bigger problem of climate change. Japan’s catastrophe hits the reset button on the whole issue. One irony is that the climate campaign is a big near-term loser, as carbon dioxide emissions in Japan and Germany (which switched off seven nuclear plants) will go up.
Steven Hayward is a fellow at AEI.