Republican congressional candidate Al Santos unveiled his own energy independence proposal, calling for a new round of expansions of nuclear power.
Santos, in a crowded Republican Primary Field in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, called nuclear power “a clean energy source with vast amounts of potential.”
A retired Army lieutenant colonel, Santos said Florida is the nation’s second-largest producer of electricity after Texas, with natural gas and fossil fuel accounting for about 75% of it.
“Nuclear power is essential to Florida’s development, and we will push for new, more efficient, and safe reactors to increase production which will reduce the price our citizens pay for electricity in their homes, as well as our small businesses,” Santos said in a news release.
Santos is a dark-horse Republican candidate seeking an open seat in CD 7, which covers Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County. The seat is open because incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy decided to not seek a fourth term. Results of the last two General Elections suggest the district is likely to flip from Democrat to Republican.
The U.S. Department of Energy lists 54 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 92 nuclear power reactors in 28 U.S. states, including two in Florida, the Turkey Point plant in Homestead and the St. Lucie plant in Jensen Beach. Due to economic pressures, only two new nuclear power plants have gone into operation in the past 30 years, both in Tennessee.
“The math, the numbers and the science are there,” Santos said of nuclear power. “For example, 1,000 megawatts can power up to 460,000 homes at a reduced price compared to other forms of energy such as coal. Although the cost of construction of a nuclear reactor is high, the reality is that on an even playing field, without external issues such as war, the price paid by our citizens in nuclear and fossil fuel is the same, with nuclear slightly less.”
“The benefits are that in times of crisis or market fluctuation, where the cost of fossil fuel erupts, nuclear energy will keep the same level, even going down because of new technology,” he continued. “This is why we need nuclear power, to diversify our energy sector.”
The Democratic field in CD 7 includes Tatiana Fernandez, Karen Green, Al Krulick and Allek Pastrana.