Pronuclear advocacy has been growing worldwide. The number of groups working to save existing nuclear, reform clean energy policies to be “nuclear-inclusive,” and to educate the public about the benefits of nuclear is expanding at a rapid clip. That’s the good news and a reflection of growing public support for the use of nuclear power as a solution to climate change. The bad news is that there are very few groups that are either large or mainstream.
The movement is in a grassroots stage with lots of independent actors deciding to organize, at times without even realizing that other similar groups exist. Fortunately, many of these groups are connected through overlapping membership, so there is suprisingly effective coordination when it matters, such as when it comes to saving existing power plants. This coordination started with the Climate Coalition campaign to save New York’s Indian Point, which did not succeed. But the groups involved saw the power of cross-coordination and learned from that experience. They have since become increasingly successful at orchestrating multi-facted campaigns to save at risk power plants. The fact that the Biden Administration is actively providing financial support for at risk plants which eases the burden on ratepayers has also helped a lot.
Many of those who contact us want to know how they can help nuclear power succeed in addition to or in lieu of investing in next-generation technologies through Nucleation Capital. None of the main environmental groups (Sierra Club, NRDC, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Greenpeace, etc.) have had the courage and integrity to come out in public support of nuclear. Even though a few of the more scientific groups (The Nature Conservancy, The Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute) have opted to take a more neutral or nuanced stance vis-a-vis nuclear, we don’t recommend giving your philanthropic dollars to any of these larger groups until they support nuclear power. Thus, we have curated this list of the most effective pronuclear non-profits and advocates to help you find an organization or individuals to support.
Nucleation’s Top 5 Pronuclear Organizations
CALIFORNIANS FOR GREEN NUCLEAR POWER
Californians for Green Nuclear Power, led by Dr. Gene Nelson, has been a driving force for political accountability and responsible energy decision-making in California. Shedding light on sweetheart backroom political deals being cut by Governor Jerry Brown that were contrary to the public interest, CGNP filed suits and/or petitioned to become a party to CPUC and FERC proceedings. CGNP’s work as an intervenor has been instrumental in helping to save Diablo Canyon. CGNP’s in depth research continues to pose obstacles to efforts to overturn the California legislature’s extension approval are being filed. (Donations can be mailed to CGNP at 1375 East Grand Ave Ste 103 #523, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420-2421.)
MOTHERS FOR NUCLEAR
Mothers for Nuclear was created on Earth Day 2016 by the power team of San Luis Obispo-based Heather Hoff and Kristin Zaitz, two moms to better represent the voices of women and mothers in support of Diablo Canyon and nuclear energy in general. Coordination with Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Save Clean Energy and many other groups enabled Governor Newsom to respond to strong public pressure to save Diablo Canyon when appealing to the California Legislature. Progressive women remain predominantly opposed to nuclear power, but Mothers for Nuclear have begun to rebuild the social norm of women being pronuclear. (Donations can be made online. EIN: 81-3349003)
Generation Atomic was created by Millenial Eric Meyers to represent the voices of younger generations and empower them to express support for nuclear in every type of venue and forum where discussions of how solve climate change is happening. The group creates fun, engaging, public actions in an effort to safeguard our future by championing the cause for nuclear energy. Not only do they use research, communication and relationship-building to advocate for nuclear, their actions typically involve dancing, singing, inflatable costumes and a high degree of humor to inspire, empower and engage youth and keep those who are anti-nuclear or who just wish to ignore the issue off-balance. Operatic nuclear arias, anyone? (Donations can be made online. EIN: 81-4500446)
THORIUM ENERGY ALLIANCE
Thorium Energy Alliance was started in 2006 by John Kutsch to bring together scientists and energy experts who believe that thorium should be used as nuclear fuel. Thorium is far more abundant and less radioactive than uranium, yet was rejected early on in the history of nuclear development, despite evidence that thorium could power a molten salt reactor safely and be highly cost-effective. TEA has worked to protect nuclear’s abundant innovation history as well as raise awareness about abundant but wasted materials like thorium. TEA has served as a central organizing entity, advocating for alternative reactor designs within broader discussions of how to expand access to nuclear power. John Kutsch has provided guidance, support and inspiration for many young activists, which history was beautifully captured in the Frankie Fenton documentary film “Atomic Hope.” (Donations of cash or cars can be made online.)
REPLANET’S “DEAR GREENPEACE” CAMPAIGN
RePlanet was founded by a group of European youths to broadly save the future. They bravely tackle a number of big thorny issues, including the need to rethink and deploy advanced technologies for food production, nuclear power and GMOs. In particular, they recently launched a campaign called “Dear Greenpeace” initiated by Ia Aanstoot, a Swedish teen, which seeks to get one of the largest and most militant of environmental NGOs to focus on fighting fossil fuels, not nuclear power. Ironically, the so called “environmental” groups are some of the most ignorant about how best to solve climate change. They are ideologically-driven and persist in opposing nuclear power, thereby enabling the continued use of fossil fuels. Because of how energizing and refreshing this campaign is, we recommend supporting RePlanet, which is willing to publicly call out the environmentally detrimental actions of a mainstream “green” NGO. (Donations can be made online.)
There are many other worthy groups, so we’ve listed more of them below, followed by influencers, authors, podcasters and artists (alphabetically)
THINK TANKS & EXPERT NON-PROFITS
Anthropocene Institute, Carl Page, connecting entrepreneurs, investors, institutions, and thought leaders to solve our climate emergency.
The Breakthrough Institute, Ted Nordhaus leads a global research center that identifies and promotes technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges.
Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal, Madison Hilly, a nation-wide advocacy effort that is articulating a vision for nuclear as the industrial heart of sustainable and enduring American prosperity. They plan for growing nuclear energy to create dignified, high-wage jobs, revive American industrial capability, and re-establish ourselves as the global leaders of this critical technology.
Clean Air Task Force, Armond Cohen, which aims to push the change in technologies and policies needed to get to a zero-emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost, so the energy needs of all people are met efficiently without damaging the atmosphere.
ClearPath, Rich Powell, a center-right think tank whose mission is to develop and advance conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation.
Climate Coalition, Valerie Gardner, Gary Kahanak, and members of other affiliated groups, working to build common ground within the climate movement so that pronuclear and pro-renewable climate activists work together, despite their different technology preferences.
Climate Protection & Restoration Initiative, Dr. James Hansen, Donn J. Viviani and others, currently suing the US EPA over their lack of enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Doctors for Nuclear Energy, Dr. Chris Keefer leads an international, volunteer group of doctors that see nuclear energy as an irreplaceable part of the just transition to a low-carbon future.
Emergency Reactor, Zion Lights (European-based group, founded by a former Greenpeace member).
The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) is the only non-profit, membership organization of local governments adjacent to or impacted by U.S. Department of Energy activities. We bring together local government officials to share information, establish policy positions, and promote community interests to address an increasingly complex set of constituent, environmental, regulatory, and economic development needs.
Energy Impact Center, Bret Kugelmass, aims to offer strategic direction through a first principles analysist of global energy systems and focusing on areas of highest impact, through research, impactful communications and kick-starting real projects. Also host and creator of the Titans of Nuclear Podcast.
Fastest Path to Zero, Dr. Todd Allen, leads an interdisciplinary team of experts, including University of Michigan faculty, staff, and students, working to support communities as they plan and pursue ambitious climate goals, offering a variety of assessment, siting, reporting, and big data analytic tools combined with a passion for human-centered design and engagement, to help communities transform their energy systems while adapting to a changing climate.
Good Energy Collective, Dr. Jessica Lovering, Suzy Hobbs Baker, Dr. Rachel Slaybaugh launched this group to rethink nuclear policies from the ground up, in order to enable nuclear energy to help humanity reach ambitious climate goals. Using modern, socially-grounded approaches based upon progressive, democratic values, we develop policies to bring nuclear policy and not just technology into the 21st century.
The Long Now, Stewart Brand, is an organization that seeks to foster long-term thinking to make mankind into a better ancestor and preserve possibilities for future generations, by imagining what our needs will be over a 10,000 year timescale, rather than just the here and now.
The Nuclear Alternative Project. Puerto Rico has been an energy deficient country since Hurricane Maria struck a few years back. In response, the Department of Energy has granted The Nuclear Alternative Project the responsibility of preparing Puerto Rico to possibly build advanced nuclear reactors, as an alternative energy option for Puerto Rico. Unlike wind and solar, nuclear power plants hold up well in hurricanes, which show no sign of abating especially as climate gets worse.
Nuclear New York, Dr. Dietmar Detering, Isuru Seneviratne and more, is an independent, non-partisan advocacy organization working towards a prosperous decarbonized future and nature conservation, advocating for the application of nuclear energy to meet the need for reliable, emission-free energy along with well paid meaningful work that underwrites vibrant, healthy, and prosperous communities in New York and beyond.
The Oppenheimer Project, Charles Oppenheimer and family, launched this group in tandem with the release of the film, “Oppenheimer,” to use the legacy of J. Robert Oppenheimer to promote thought-leadership, advocate for an expansion of nuclear energy free from the threats of proliferation or weaponization and to invest in the energy transition to carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy.
Rethinking Nuclear, Richard Steeves, supports others in taking a fresh look at why we need nuclear power and where what we think we know is wrong.
Save Clean Energy, Isabelle Boemeke, cultivates and amplifies grassroots movements that protect existing clean energy resources, while championing new clean infrastructure.
Stand Up for Nuclear, Paris Ortiz-Wines, serves as the international hub for global nuclear activism and resources, empowering action and helping individuals advocate for the protection and expansion of nuclear energy.
TerraPraxis, Erik Ingersoll, Kirsty Gogan, designs transformative strategies to address the most significant risks to the energy transition — mapping uncharted decarbonization territory, with a mission to innovate and accelerate scalable, equitable solutions for unsolved areas of the climate challenge.
Third Way, Josh Freed, a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas on a wide range of critical issues, from energy to agriculture.
INFLUENCERS, AUTHORS, PODCASTERS, ARTISTS and FILMS
- Rod Adams, Atomic Insights: A long-running exploration and discussion of nuclear power; The Atomic Show: A podcast series featuring conversations with nuclear experts.
- Meredith Angwin, wrote the first book explaining in lay terms the perils inherent in our power grid, “Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of our Electric Grid.” Previously, Angwin inspired and taught a generation of activists how to advocate for nuclear power in “Campaigning for Clean Air.”
- Mathijs Beckers, author of “Highway to Dystopia: About spaceship Earth, Climate Change and more.”
- Isabelle Boemeke, creator of the “Isodope” persona, an uber-stylish futuristic influencer featured in creative videos accessible by TicTok, Instagram and “X” tweets, which aim to educate the social media generation about nuclear energy. Ms. Boemeke is also the founder of Save Clean Energy, which led an initiative to send a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to save Diablo Canyon, signed by 79 scientific experts.
- Baba Brinkman, a science rapper, poet and performer, with the world’s most extensive oeuvre of nuclear rap.
- Canon Bryan, edits and publishes the 4th Generation Blog (hosted by Terrestrial Energy, featuring many different authors)
- Robert Bryce, author, journalist and host of the Power Hungry Podcast, wrote “A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations,” and produced the documentary Juice: How Electricity Explains the World.
- Gwyneth Cravens, author of “Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy.”
- Frankie Fenton, produced the documentary, Atomic Hope, which follows the birth, pains and growth of the pronuclear movement.
- Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist, wrote “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow.” This book was picked up and made into a powerful documentary by Oliver Stone, called Nuclear Now: Time to Look Again, in 2023.
- Dr. Robert Hargraves, author of “Thorium, Energy Cheaper than Coal” and prolific tweeter
- Dr. Chris Keefer, articulate Canadian nuclear advocate, founder of Doctors for Nuclear Energy and the Decouple podcast, focused on the challenge of decoupling energy production from carbon emissions.
- D.J. LeClear, The Rad Guy, posts extensively with easy to understand explanations about nuclear power, radiation and waste issues.
- Mark Nelson, Radiant Energy: Articulate nuclear influencer and consultant providing a range of strategic services to improve communications and engage key stakeholders.
- Staffan Qvist and Joshua Goldstein co-wrote “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow.” This book was picked up and made into a powerful documentary by Oliver Stone, called Nuclear Now: Time to Look Again, in 2023.
- Dave Schumacher, produced The New Fire, a wonderful documentary about next-generation nuclear and some of the founders who have launched ventures)
- Oliver Stone, produced Nuclear Now: Time to Look Again, a 2023 documentary, based upon the Joshua Goldstein book, “A Bright Future.”
- Robert Stone, produced the highly influential 2013 documentary, Pandora’s Promise, arguably the first pronuclear documentary ever produced, which has subsequently inspired the pronuclear movement.
- Nick Touran, Ph.D, P.E., What is Nuclear?: A technical blog that aims to enlighten the public about the capabilities of nuclear energy so that society may embrace it as an improvement in many aspects over current energy sources. Answers many common questions and concerns about nuclear power.
[Note: This Nuclear Advocacy page is a work in process. We will continue to add information, references and sources as possible. We do not claim total accuracy or complete coverage of those individuals or groups advocating for nuclear. These are just those that come to mind and for which we have a base level of familiarity. Not included in this list are industry-funded entities (NEI, ANS, Nuclear Institute, Nuclear Matters, etc.) or professional organizations or firms, such as Women in Nuclear or North American Young Generation in Nuclear. If you have suggestions or corrections, please use the comment box to provide that information and we will endeavor to post it.]