McCain tours nuke plant, renews call for nuclear power expansion in U.S.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain toured a nuclear plant in Michigan on Tuesday, using the opportunity to renew his call for the U.S. to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030. At the plant, McCain said that his love affair with nuclear power began when he encountered nuclear ships and submarines in the Navy. “I knew it was safe then, I know it’s safe now,” he said. However, the backdrop for his nuclear-safety claim was less than ideal. The nuke plant McCain was touring has been the site of a number of nuclear accidents: one reactor had a partial meltdown in 1966 and briefly caught fire this May. Another reactor leaked in 2005, temporarily shutting down the plant. On the tour, McCain accused Democrat Barack Obama of not fully supporting nuclear power, but Obama’s campaign refuted the claim. An Obama spokesperson issued a statement saying that Obama “supports safe and secure nuclear energy. … However, before an expansion of nuclear power is considered, Obama thinks key issues must be addressed, including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation.”