October 13, 2008

Obama, McCain Seen As Pro-Nuke Energy

Both major-party U.S. presidential candidates favor expansion of nuclear power generation and it's just a question of how much, industry observers say.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, has called for the building of 45 nuclear power plants by 2030. His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, is much more skeptical, though he also sees nuclear power as part of a future energy mix, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Monday.

"Both candidates are pro-nuclear. It's the degree of promotion of nuclear that defines their differences," Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program for consumer group Public Citizen, told the newspaper. "Whereas John McCain is seeking a massive expansion, Obama has been far more vague."

The issue is important for western Pennsylvania, home of Westinghouse Electric Co., which designs, builds and maintains nuclear reactors.

"The nuclear renaissance is here, regardless of who would win the election," said Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert. "We have had support from both sides of the aisle."