Nuclear energy warms on Obama's accolades

The climate could be warming to nuclear power. President Obama gave the long-demonized energy source a nod in his State of the Union speech last week, saying "to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, and more incentives.” He said his vision includes the renewal of our nation’s nuclear energy industry after a 30-year hiatus. That's good news to proponents of nuclear power, including those in the San Joaquin Valley. It's sparked a bit of controversy, however, as can be seen in this story from And more is expected. The debate comes to the Valley next month with a visit by Areva Chief Executive Anne Lauvergeon. SJVCEO board member Steve Geil, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. serving Fresno County, mentioned her speaking engagement at last month's board meeting and encouraged all to attend. Fresno Bee columnist Bill McEwan also got into the game, writing about the increased activity surrounding nuke plant proponent John Hutson. Hutson is a partner in a Fresno-based group seeking to land a plant in the Valley. reported last month that French-based energy corporation Areva and Fresno Nuclear Energy Group LLC have signed a letter of intent to develop a nuclear power plant project.