So unfortunately not much improved. Actually I believe things got worse from the global view, but maybe not in an obvious way.
What I’m worried about is that a combination of the US not building nuclear power plants, which currently seem like the only viable solution for green energy, and the rapid increase in demand for energy. So nuclear energy is probably the only viable solution period.
On the flip side, China keeps building new nuclear power plants, and adds more and more nuclear power capacity, setting for itself new annual goals.
Power plants take a long time to build, and need substantial initial investment, The Biden infrastructure bill at $3.5 trillion, budgets a total of only $12 billion for nuclear energy – $6b for maintenance of existing plants and $6b for new micro nuclear power plants.
My opinion? The budget for nuclear energy is way too low. Energy drives everything. We need to get manufacturing back to the US. We have to reduce dependency on import of products and energy (oil). The cost of energy drives pricing of everything – from direct cost of manufacturing, to transportation, the money people spend on consumer goods (if people spend more money on energy – transportation, heating and cooling and house power – they have less to spend on other stuff), so the economy suffer. It doesn’t matter if you drive an electric car, you need energy to run and produce everything,
Take a hypothetical situation where energy is practically free in the US. This will make the US unbeatable in every aspect. On the other hand, if we don’t accelerate nuclear power production, and other countries, mainly China, will, this will be a double whammy, US will be short in energy, and China will have plenty. This will be really bad, any way you see it.
I don’t trust the government (definitely not the current one) to get this done unless we are at war (I hope not). So I’d say, Musk, Bezos, Buffet, Gates, Zuckerberg, Brin, Ellison, Balmer, Bloomberg – start working together if you want to keep the US as a place you want to live in. Break the oil dependency, reduce carbon footprint, get nuclear energy the US main power source within the next two decades. And whomever is in the government – give the incentives for everyone to get behind this, match investments, tax breaks, land, whatever is needed to accelerate the process. Oh, and it will also create a huge amount of jobs, that won’t be a bad thing either.