The recently released report, Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage, commissioned by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Nuclear Fuel Working Group, is an important step forward for US national security, the battle against climate change, and the health of the US economy. It also represents an important turning point for the United States.
Although the United States began the atomic age as the global leader in nuclear energy, the US government stopped its domestic reactor program at 102 reactors following the 1979 Three Mile Island Accident.
The US nuclear energy industry was cut off in its prime, ceding primacy to fossil fuel production. After decades of misguided policy, the DOE’s report puts the United States back on track in leading a worldwide nuclear energy system that is effective, reliable, and carbon free. To meet these goals, the recommendations in this report must be implemented as quickly as possible.
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Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. served for nearly three decades at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, including a decade and a half as general counsel as well as Acting Director of the agency for most of 1993. In 1993 he led the effort to establish a long-term moratorium on the conduct of nuclear weapons tests. From 1994 to 1996, he was a principal figure in the worldwide effort to successfully support the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations. In 1994 President Clinton appointed Thomas Graham as his special representative for arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, with the rank of Ambassador. From 1993 to 1995 Ambassador Graham led the successful U.S. government effort to indefinitely extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He has taught at—among others—Stanford University, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, University of Washington and Oregon State University.