Former New Jersey Governor’s Agree – New Nuclear Plant Likely in Future

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The following exchange between former New Jersey governors Brendan T. Byrne and Tom Kean took place in a Tuesday teleconference.

Q: Hearings began this week on Gov. Christie’s new energy plan, which includes a nuclear component. Realistically, do you think New Jersey would accept a new nuclear plant?

GOV. BYRNE: Depends on where it’s located and how far away we are from the last scare. But the benefits to municipalities where a nuclear plant is located are very generous.

GOV. KEAN: I built the last nuclear plant — not only in the state, but in the country. It wasn’t easy politically, but Republicans and Democrats got together and acted for the future of the state. It’s almost impossible to rely totally on fossil fuels and, as of now, there are not enough alternatives. If we want efficient, cheap, non-polluting energy, we may have to accept a new plant.

Q: Might we have to compromise any of our environmental goals to ensure sufficient energy?

KEAN: No, and we shouldn’t, particularly if nuclear energy is part of the solution. It’s fossil fuels — primarily coal and oil — that we have to cut down on. We’re increasingly relying on gas and other new forms of energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, but for the foreseeable future, they’re a small part of the solution.

BYRNE: I see more and more solar panels going up, which shows we’re trying to do something.

KEAN: Conservation, I believe, is going to be at least a quarter of the solution.


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