This week, US Senator Lamar Alexander will ask the federal government to allow construction of 100 nuclear power plants over the next 20 years.

Construction of power plants is part of the Republican game plan for developing a national energy policy. US Congress has been working for weeks on climate change legislation, but Senate Republicans argue that congressional Democrats and US President Barack Obama are putting more emphasis on renewable energy and giving less importance to nuclear power.

“We’re getting too much lip service and not enough action from the Obama administration on nuclear power, and the impression is being left that we can run this big, complex country on electricity from the wind, the sun and the earth,” Alexander said.

According to Alexander, nuclear power and conservation are “the only course we have to provide energy independence, good jobs and clean energy.”

“Climate change may be the inconvenient problem, but nuclear power is the inconvenient answer,” he said.

To keep nuclear power as part of the national energy debate, Senate Republicans will also develop a blueprint over the next few months which will offer additional details about constructing new nuclear plants, such as potential obstacles and ways around them.

In June 2009, the Senate Republican Conference will start a series of hearings on specific issues, like loan financing to assist with new nuclear power plants. The topics covered will include recycling used nuclear fuel and how to make sure there are enough skilled labourers to construct new plants.

By staff writer.