Skip to main content

Clinton ESP News Update

First, the joint press conference hosted by several anti-nuclear groups in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois on Tuesday, April 19: Brendan Hoffman of Public Citizen took the microphone. His point was that instead of a new nuclear power plant, Illinois should focus on renewables, since the Union of Concerned Scientists have produced a study showing how much economic benefit Illinois can get from a renewable energy standard. He also gave a list of six complaints of things that are missing from the NRC's draft Environmental Impact Statement, including, for example, the need for additional power, suitability of the site for long term storage of used nuclear fuel, security issues and health impacts of a nuclear power station.

I don't see how pursuing renewable energy sources and new nuclear power for baseload energy generation are mutually exclusive. Why not do both, and expand the environmental benefits?

As for what is missing from the NRC's DEIS, it does not seem reasonable to postulate that more power would NOT be needed within the next 20 years for which the site is banked. Public Citizen's other concerns would be more closely related to either the design certification or the construction and operating license, and do not belong in the study of site suitabilty. That's the whole intent of breaking the new licensing process into smaller chunks - deal with the information to be evaluated one piece at a time. If you stay on topic, at each point in the process, concerns expressed on both sides of an argument can generate a dialogue based on fact rather than rhetoric. Discussion of the whether the 6 concerns are applicable points to be made does not even belong in this step of the process.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Norris McDonald said…
The pro nuclear activists outnumbered the anti nuclear activitists. Members from the North American Young Generation in Nuclear and the African American Environmentalist Association ruled the hearing on the outside and the inside.

The local community also had a very strong showing. More than 200 people turned out on a Monday night and stayed until midnight to make sure that their comments were heard by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…