Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sound Science, Not Hysteria

Hydrogen Power News on the recent New York Times piece concerning the growing split in the environmental community over nuclear energy:

The paper also notes the arguments within the environmental movement as many of the hardline nuclear opponents speak in terms more akin to betrayal which is what you would expect if a movement is based on emotion or religion instead of science and facts, some have evidently made up their minds and that’s that. What we need now is clear thinking and if the hydrogen economy is ever going to be anything other than a fantasy, every avenue needs to be explored.
For more on the connection between nuclear energy and a possible future hydrogen economy, click here.

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4 comments:

Policy Pete said...

The problem with nuclear is not that it doesn't work extremely well -- the trouble is that the utility industry, generally, is full of half-baked idiots. The people in charge in the Clinton and Bush administrations deregulated the electricity production industry and sold off most of the best assets, leaving energy traders as the résumés of choice, under the premise that whoever could purchase fuel feedstocks at least cost would win the biggest rewards.

So we end up not with Homer Simpsons in charge, but with the Jeff Skillings. And they, quite simply, can't be trusted with a technology as demanding and (potentially) dangerous as nuclear power. Nuclear power requires skilled professionals averse to risk, hedged to their eyeballs, willing to do what safety requires, not riverboat gamblers.

'Pete' (http://policypete.com)

Eric McErlain said...

With all due respect Pete, I've never met a more risk averse and safety concious crew than the folks in the nuclear energy business.

When it comes to industrial safety and security, there's nobody better than these guys, and to lump them together with the criminals at Enron is unfair and innacurate.

This didn't just happen overnight, but rather is the result of decades of work from the nuclear industry, and the efforts of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators -- an organization that effectively uses peer review (and pressure) to keep plants operating safely and efficiently.

Lisa Stiles-Shell said...

Pete,

I understand your aversion to the folks that drove Enron into the ground, but those kind of crooks do not run nuclear power plants.

Furthermore, even honest CEOs, CFOs, and executives don't run the plants. Highly-trained operators, engineers (like me), and skilled craft do.

I, and my colleagues, are the skilled professionals you speak of and we do everything that safety requires not only because we are ethically and professionally bound to, but because we work at and live near the plants ourselves. Doing anything else would mean jeopardizing our own health and safety and that of our families and friends. Taking such risks is not an option.

Best regards,
Lisa

Kelly L. Taylor said...

Consider this: those of us who work within the power stations have a close-up, personal view of a station's safety. And on the aggregate, the local communities are in support of having nuclear power stations for neighbors and employers.

Not only that, but nuclear power is now old enough to employ our kids. We are talking about encouraging our kids to become skilled professionals, not simply accepting the employment of last resort. Would those of us who are on the inside encourage our kids, as rising professionals, to work in an unsafe industry? Of course not! And yet we see the next generation of employees often coming from families that are already working nuclear.

We really do have our eyes fixed on the future, not just the present - and in nuclear energy, I like what I see.