Skip to main content

NY Times: Environmental Movement Reconsidering Nuclear Energy

The big news over the weekend was that the New York Times finally noticed something that we've been telling you for a couple of weeks -- that a number of environmentalists are breaking from the pack and endorsing nuclear energy as a way to provide new power generation that doesn't produce greenhouse gas emissions:
Several of the nation's most prominent environmentalists have gone public with the message that nuclear power, long taboo among environmental advocates, should be reconsidered as a remedy for global warming. Their numbers are still small, but they represent growing cracks in what had been a virtually solid wall of opposition to nuclear power among most mainstream environmental groups.
Reactions from around the Blogosphere -- Instapundit:
If you want to have a technological civilization, and not emit C02, nuclear power is pretty much the only way to go at the moment.
Right On The Left Coast is astonished that he agrees with the New York Times. Wilson Fu isn't looking a gift horse in the mouth. PrebleNY has some other thoughts, and so does the Commons Blog.

Here's Powerpundit:
I'm on board with the pro-nuclear attitude of some of these environmental groups, and am pleased that they are finally showing up - albeit tardily - to the nuclear party. We can and should resume the use of nuclear power as an alternative to current energy sources. However, my motivation is not because of the alleged problem of global warming. We must resume the use of nuclear energy because we need a new source of power. Period.
Why do we need a new source of power? Our President and CEO, Skip Bowman, laid out the case a couple of weeks ago in San Antonio in a speech to the nuclear fuel industry:
The numbers also tell us that companies are not investing in new, cleaner, more efficient generating capacity. Nearly 200,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the United States is 30 to 40 years old. Approximately 100,000 megawatts is 40 to 50 years old. Together, these aging assets represent roughly one-third of our 900,000 megawatts of installed capacity.
So, in essence, environmentalists who continue to resist the expansion of nuclear energy, would force a choice on us -- to meet new electricity demand with old technologies that emit greenhouse gases and particulate matter, or shut off the lights. That's not a choice most people want forced on them.

The fact is, that electricity demand will rise so rapidly over the coming decades, that we're going to need to rely on every source of clean energy imaginable -- that means renewables, clean coal and nuclear. And when you combine that with the need to replace aging energy infrastructure, you can't afford to take any option off the table.

POSTSCRIPT: It would be remiss not to mention that one of the first prominent environmentalists to speak up in favor of expanded use of nuclear energy, Anglican Bishop Hugh Montefiore, died on Saturday. He was 85. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Norris McDonald said…
I am glad to see that some of my colleagues are leaning towards supporting nuclear power. The African American Environmentalist Association really went out on a limb 5 years ago and we were out there by ourselves. It is good to know that we are getting company. Now more people will not think that we are crazy. It is sweet vindication. Of course, I doubt that we will be credited with being a pioneer in this area. I always knew that the more reasonable groups would give serious consideration to this issue.

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…