Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined CNN’s climate change town hall Wednesday and discussed the need for nuclear energy to assist with the reduction of emissions.
Asked how he would “mitigate the dangers associated with nuclear power to fight the climate crisis,” Booker responded, “Right now, nuclear is more than fifty percent of our non-carbon-causing energy.”
Booker went on to say that “people who think we can get” to zero-carbon electricity by 2030, which is a part of his plan, “without nuclear being part of the blend just aren’t looking at the facts.”
Booker also added that he had researched nuclear energy and made himself aware of “next-generation nuclear,” which Booker said sounded like “science fiction” to him at first.
“Where the science is going right now is new nuclear actually portends of exciting things where you have no risk of the kind of meltdowns we’re seeing,” Booker said. “We actually can go to the kind of innovations that make nuclear safer or safe.”
Booker also noted that “other countries want to out-innovate us for the ideas of the future,” an idea which he considers “unacceptable.”
“If America can compete, we can win. So government needs to step up in a much more significant way,” Booker added. “That’s why my plan has a massive, moonshot-like invest in the technologies of the future, which range from everything like battery storage technology to the aviation industry, all the way to nuclear.
In closing, Booker reiterated his point that nuclear should not be turned away.
“We’ve got to get people excited about what’s there and we as a society, as Americans, must make the investment so that we lead humanity to the innovations, to the breakthroughs, to the jobs of the future,” Booker stated.
Earlier this week, Booker unveiled his $3 trillion climate change plan, which includes the creation of an “Environmental Justice Fund.”
Booker’s plan aims to “accelerate the end” of fossil fuels and aims to achieve “100% carbon-free electricity” by the year 2030. Booker also hopes to achieve “a carbon-neutral economy by 2045,” should he be elected.