The coal mining disaster in West Virginia this week brought back some vivid memories for me. Early on in my career as an electric utility analyst I went on a field trip sponsored by American Electric Power. During the trip I had the opportunity to go into a coal mine in Ohio and to say the least it was one of the most scary experiences of my life. Riding in coal cars deep into a mine the feeling of claustrophobia and danger engulfed me. I could not believe that men did this day in and day out. Today coal generates more than 50% of domestic electricity production so obviously we cannot abandon coal as any energy source. However, the environmental problems associated with coal are well known which leads me to wonder why clean, safe nuclear power is not making more progress? Sure, Obama gives lip service to expanding nuclear, but there should be a crash program of nuclear power development beginning immediately.