Skip to main content

DOE's Bodman at Nuclear Energy Assembly

Yesterday morning, Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman addressed the conference. President Bush has been very supportive of our industry, even more so ever since he said the words, "safe, clean, nuclear energy" during this year's State of the Union address.

Secretary Bodman made it pretty clear where the Administration stands:
As [energy] demand continues to climb, we must keep in mind that the fossil fuels upon which we increasingly depend are finite resources that will not last forever. As time goes on, they will become more and more expensive to find and produce. In addition, our traditional ways of using fossil fuels – burning them in power-plant boilers and in vehicle engines – causes pollution… such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury… as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
After reading that, I have to say there doesn't seem to be a whole lot that proponents of peak oil and peak energy would disagree with. Granted, their policy prescriptions diverge more often than not with the Bush Administration, but there seems to be a consensus developing about the scope and nature of the nation's energy problem. Which is exactly why we're trying to reach out to environmentalists via NEI Nuclear Notes.

Further . . .
Clearly, we need to develop new sources of energy that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels… and help protect the environment. Under the guidance of the President’s National Energy Policy, we are working to develop these new energy sources. They include hydrogen fuel cells to power our vehicles… more-effective ways to produce wind and solar power… technologies to remove pollution and greenhouse emissions from coal… and improving our energy-efficiency across the economy, to recover the vast amounts of energy we currently waste.

But while we work to develop these new and better ways to produce and use energy for the future… there is one technology already in place that can reliably generate large amounts of electricity with no dependence on fossil fuels, no pollution, and no greenhouse emissions. And that technology is nuclear power.
Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

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 Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…