So, you are saying that government is the problem? I can agree with that.
If coal was regulated like nuclear then we'd be shutting down every coal plant based upon radiation leakage to the environment alone. The level of radiation in Grand Central terminal in NYC is higher than would be allowed in any nuclear power plant control room. Does anyone consider that train station a radiation hazard?
The regulations that nuclear power needs to meet to get a permit in the USA is insanity upon insanity. The rules are arbitrary and based on bad science. If we get some sane rules then we'd get nuclear power going again. Nuclear power is safe, inexpensive (government regulations aside), plentiful, reliable, and as "green" as wind or solar.
Anyone that claims we can have "green" energy but does not include nuclear power is insane, ignorant, or perhaps both. These people will claim that "any day now" solar power will be cheaper than coal, we can store up our wind and solar power in big batteries, and "smart grids" will connect it all. What do we do until this technology comes? I say we use nuclear power. It does everything that people claim wind and solar will do some day but we've seen nuclear do this already for 40 years.
Unfortunately we'd need to see one new gigawatt scale nuclear power plant go online in the USA every month to meet the demands of retired coal and nuclear plants. It's likely we'd have to exceed that to meet growth demands in the future. The way nuclear power plants are approved now simply cannot match that rate. We need to fix the rules on licensing nuclear power or bad things will happen in the coming decades. What are those "bad things"? Regional brownouts and blackouts, prices skyrocketing, perhaps a deadly failure in a power plant that has been forced to limp along well beyond its designed life span.
I do believe that if we do see prices get high enough, blackouts start to occur, that it will be resolved quickly. People will forget about Fukushima and Three Mile Island when the power goes out in the middle of winter. At that point I expect that we'll do like we did in the 1950s and be able to bring a nuclear power plant on line, from ground breaking to producing power, in 24 months.
It takes 10 years to build a nuclear power plant right now only because we deemed it so. When we no longer deem it necessary to create such delays then things can move quickly.