Students at South Carolina State University have powerful careers–that’s according to some well-known nuclear energy proponents, like former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.She says, “State is the only HBCU in the nation with a degree program in nuclear engineering and I co-chair, along with Dr. Patrick Moore, who is one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, an organization called CASEnergy, and teh purpose is to provide information about nuclear power so that people–as we start to look at how we’re going to meet our upcoming energy demands– can make informed decisions.
Whitman says she and CASEnergy members in the state, like the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Upstate Alliance and the SC Manufacturers Alliance, are trying to promote potential thousands of jobs for the state.
Whitman says “You’ve got a potential for four new reactors in the state, which could mean 700 jobs each, paying 30 percent more than similar jobs.”
CASEnergy proponents say that such reactors also fuel local communities.
Whitman says, “Every one of the 104 reactors around the country produces nearly $40 million a year in individual income and labor income, and about $430 million a year in total output to the local communities in which they are located.”
Some of the state’s business leaders are questioning how the state can meet an ever growing demand for power. She adds, Can we do it in a reasonable way that is not going to trash our environment, that can provide good economic opportunity for our citizens and will be ongoing. Once those reactors are up, they’re not going anywhere. They’re going to be here and become an attractive way to lure business into the state as well because they’ll have long-term, reliable, affordable power.”
Federal stimulus money has been designated for renewable energy…and while nuclear is “green” energy, it’s not renewable, so she says whether nuclear will be helped by the stimulus is still up to interpretation.