No one would have believed this possible only a few years ago, but nuclear energy has been creeping up in public estimation, despite its long record of unfulfilled promise and cataclysmic missteps.
The impetus has come from government and big business, among other sources.
Billions of dollars in incentives to keep existing nuclear plants operating and to get new nuclear technologies off the drawing board were enacted as part of the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill signed late last year by President Biden.
Byron Wein, vice chairman of the big institutional investor Blackstone, listed among his predictions for 2022 that “the nuclear alternative for power generation enters the arena ... and the viability of nuclear power is widely acknowledged.”
Some celebrity entrepreneurs have weighed in, without demonstrating that they have given the issue the thorough consideration it deserves. Elon Musk last month tweeted that “unless susceptible to extreme natural disasters, nuclear power plants should not be shut down.”