Houston Matters

Should Texas consider expanding nuclear energy?

A University of Houston professor makes his case for why it’s a question worth asking.


South Texas Project Electric Generating Station, one of two nuclear power plants in Texas.


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While G7 leaders meet this weekend to discuss, among other things, concerns over nuclear threats, there's been a long-stalled debate here in the United States over the use of nuclear energy.

On one hand, it is relatively affordable and reliable. On the other, we lack a great plan for what to do with nuclear waste, which no one wants in their backyard. And just one meltdown can go very badly very quickly.

Here in Texas, we have just two nuclear plants. Could the state someday consider expansion of nuclear energy? Are there lessons we could learn from other nations' more primary use of it?

Dr. Stanko Brankovic is a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston. He notes that technological developments have made nuclear energy safer, and that the United States should consider expanding it and follow the lead of other nations.

In the audio above, he also argues that Americans struggle with the debate because nuclear energy is often conflated with nuclear weapons in public discourse.

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Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer & Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager,...

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