President Obama's recent show of financial support for construction of two nuclear plants in Georgia is hopefully the beginning of a new era in which nuclear power will again expand its role in the electricity-generating methods of the U.S.

Of course, we all need to look at using energy more efficiently, and recent innovations in clean-energy technology such as wind, geothermal, biomass, and clean coal are also important.

But the long-ignored nuclear industry could give big boosts in the country's  ability to generate the electricity it needs.

Later this month, we'll see the 31st anniversary of the nuclear-plant accident at Three Mile Island generating plant near Harrisburg, Pa. Although no one inside or outside the plant was injured during the partial meltdown at the plant, the incident created so much fear of what could happen that the country almost instantly turned off to nuclear power and has held it at arms' length ever since.

The Three Mile Island incident was as much a case of bad public communication as it was a partial failure of mechanical function.

Conflicting reports coming from a variety of sources gave the public a sense that no one was in control and knew exactly what was going on.

The situation was not helped by the release just 12 days earlier of a movie called The China Syndrome, which depicted a meltdown and cover-up at a nuclear power plant. The coincidence could not have been worse.

That single event in Pennsylvania 31 years ago -- again, in which no one was hurt -- set off a chain reaction of public opinion that shut down development of an energy-generating solution that could have helped the U.S. generate needed power for three decades.

For most of my life, I've lived about 20 miles from two nuclear power plants. I don't think about them any more than I do the coal-fired power plant keeps the lights, TVs, stoves, computers, and myriad other electric devices running in the city where I live.

It's time we once again look at adding nuclear power to our growing array of methods for generating electricity.