In a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on the future of nuclear power, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) pointed to the need to ensure the viability of nuclear energy, especially in a low-to-no carbon economy.

“Many Americans say climate change is a threat and humans are a significant cause of that threat,” he said. “If I had 20 fire marshals of repute telling me my house is burning down, I might get fire insurance…we should get some insurance against climate change.” Alexander warned that the proposed shut down of eight reactors over the next five to seven years, plus the recent closure at a plant in Nebraska, “will result in a three percent increase in carbon emissions.”

“There’s no sense in closing nuclear reactors at a time when climate change is a problem.” Nuclear energy produces about 60 percent of the nation’s carbon-free power.