John McCain's visit to a nuclear power plant, the first in recent history by a presidential candidate, highlights the promise and peril of a technology that is a key component of his sweeping plan to help the country overcome its energy crisis.
The Enrico Fermi Nuclear Plant outside Detroit, named for the first physicist to split the atom, is home to both an operating power plant and another reactor that had a partial meltdown in the 1960s. It was decommissioned in 1972, while its successor continues to operate.
McCain, who is set to visit the plant Tuesday, is placing great stock in modern-day nuclear technology by calling for the construction of 45 nuclear power plants by 2030. The Republican argues that its carbon-free power generation is necessary to reduce the country's reliance on oil imports and part of any realistic energy program. And he says exposing its expanded use, as Democratic rival Barack Obama has suggested, shows naivete.