Obama: Nuclear power worth considering, not panacea

CHICAGO Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:00pm EDT

Democratic US presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Il) smiles as he addresses a news conference after meeting with his foreign policy advisory panel of former Democratic U.S. government officials at a hotel in Washington June 18, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Democratic US presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Il) smiles as he addresses a news conference after meeting with his foreign policy advisory panel of former Democratic U.S. government officials at a hotel in Washington June 18, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Bourg

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday nuclear power was "not a panacea" for U.S. energy woes but it is worth investigating its further development.

During a meeting with U.S. governors, Obama noted that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases and therefore the United States should consider investing research dollars into whether nuclear waste can be stored safely for its reuse.

But he said, "I don't think that nuclear power is a panacea."

Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain, has proposed a big push on nuclear power. The Arizona senator earlier this week said that if he is elected to the White House, he would put country on a course to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.

Obama, an Illinois senator, did not directly discuss the McCain proposal at the economic forum, where several governors talked of higher fuel costs as one of the most pressing issues facing their states.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan, editing by Vicki Allen)

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