Today’s release of a Union of Concerned Scientists report calling for policies to support continued operation of nuclear power plants marks a watershed. UCS is the first major environmental NGO to recognize that nuclear energy presently, and for the foreseeable future, is a key climate mitigation technology. It is also the first to publicly and explicitly call for policies to support nuclear energy.
That UCS would become the first major environmental group to acknowledge an important role for nuclear energy in climate mitigation efforts is particularly symbolic. The organization was founded in the late 1960’s by veterans of the scientists movement, which had mobilized in the 1940’s and 50’s in response to concerns about the use and misuse of nuclear technology.