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Presidential Candidate calls for 45 New Nuclear Reactors

June 19, 2008

Springfield, MO --Senator John McCain, who has long been a proponent of nuclear power called for the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by the year 2030 and pledged $2 billion a year in federal funding, "to make clean coal a reality," measures designed to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

McCain said the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating around the country produce about 20 percent of the nation's yearly electricity needs. No nuclear power plant has been built in America in more than 30 years, and few companies have invested in the technology to build new ones.

"We will need to recover all the knowledge and skills that have been lost over three stagnant decades in a highly technical field," McCain told a forum at Missouri State University.

McCain did not explain how he would dispose of the radioactive waste from the dozens of new reactors he proposed, or how he would deal with the intense political passions the issue generates. Compared to the rest of the world, America has an aversion to nuclear-generated power.

Under current rules, industry experts said, construction on a new plant could not begin for at least five years because of strict requirements involving emergency response planning, radiation protection, operator training and other procedures.