Thursday, April 28, 2005

NEI's Fertel, Moore Testify Before House Subcommittee

NEI Chief Nuclear Officer Marvin Fertel testified earlier today before the Energy and Resources Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee on the possible expansion of nuclear energy in the U.S.:

The public sector, including the oversight committees of the U.S. Congress, can help maintain the conditions that ensure Americans will continue to reap the benefits of today’s nuclear power plants, and create the conditions that will spur investment in America’s energy infrastructure, including new nuclear power plants . . .

Nuclear power plants contribute to the fuel and technology diversity that is the core strength of the U.S. electric supply system. This diversity is at risk because today’s business environment and market conditions in the electric sector make investment in large, capital-intensive technologies difficult, particularly in the nuclear power plants and coal-fired power plants best suited to supply baseload electricity.

Click here for a copy of his written testimony. Also testifying before the committee was Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, and an outspoken advocate for the expansion of nuclear energy. The following is from a press release issued by Moore's consulting firm, Greenspirit Strategies:

"Nuclear energy is the only non-greenhouse-gas-emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global demand," Moore told the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Resources in Washington, DC.

"There is now a great deal of scientific evidence showing nuclear power to be an environmentally sound and safe choice," Moore said. Moore believes his former colleagues at Greenpeace are unrealistic in their call for a phasing out of both coal and nuclear power worldwide, as they have called for in Ontario, for example.

"There are simply not enough available forms of alternative energy to replace both of them together. Given a choice between nuclear on the one hand and coal, oil and natural gas on the other, nuclear energy is by far the best option as it emits neither CO2 nor any other air pollutants."

Moore told the subcommittee there are virtually no other beneficial uses of uranium beyond electricity production, "whereas fossil fuels are a precious non-renewable resource and have a multitude of constructive uses including the manufacture of durable goods such as plastics.

POSTSCRIPT: Moore was also quoted in an op-ed piece that appeared earlier today in the Melbourne Age by Leslie Kemeny, that touts the environmental benefits of nuclear energy for Australia.

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