Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts Is Not on the Nuclear Power Cheering Squad

At a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening, the 2020 Democratic candidate declared that by 2028, she does not want any 'new building that has any carbon footprint'

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Wednesday evening at CNN’s town hall for Democrats on climate issues that she would oppose building any new nuclear plants in America — and instead would work to phase out existing nuclear power from the energy mix.

“The problem is it’s got a lot of risks associated with it, particularly the risks associated with the spent fuel rods,” the 2020 Democratic candidate said. “In my administration, we are not going to build any new nuclear power plants.”

This is diametrically opposed to the platform, for example, of her fellow 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — who told the same audience on Wednesday night that he’s fully behind “new nuclear” as a way forward in this country.

Said Warren, however, “We will start weaning ourselves off nuclear and replace it with renewables.”

Prior to these statements, Warren had not taken a position on nuclear power in any of her various climate change plans, as the Washington Examiner noted — including in a new proposal she issued earlier on Wednesday that would require utilities to achieve 100 percent carbon-neutral power by 2030 and reaching all-renewable electricity generation by 2035.

Most of those running for a White House shot recognize that nuclear power right now provides more than half of the nation’s zero-carbon electricity.

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However, Warren and others who oppose a nuclear path — such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — cite concerns about the perils of storing nuclear waste and the high cost of building new plants.

“It’s unclear if Warren’s opposition to nuclear power includes smaller advanced reactors that are being developed, but not yet commercialized, for greater safety and easier construction than today’s massive plants,” the Examiner pointed out.

Warren made other news, though, on Wednesday night and earlier this week as well.

See the details and reaction in the tweets below:

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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