Skip to main content

St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Nuclear power should be in the mix."

In this morning's St. Paul Pioneer Press, Associate Editor Mike Yost makes his pitch for nuclear energy:
The enviros are engaged in similar intellectual dishonesty when it comes to nuclear power.

"The answer to meeting our future power needs is not renewables or nuclear power, it's both," said Jim Alders, manager of regulatory projects at Xcel Energy. "Nuclear power should be in the mix."

So why isn't it? Good question.
Further . . .
In the meantime, the benefits of diverse energy generation are starting to be discussed. Indeed, nuclear is not the silver bullet. While it's cheap and operates peak loads around the clock, it can't handle demand surges the way a gas-turbine plant can.

"We need a diverse energy mix," Xcel's Alders argues. "One (technology) can't replace the other."

Until we realize that, we're just spinning our wheels.
Some people might find support like this surprising, but it's actually attributable to the superior performance of many of today's nuclear plants -- like Xcel Energy's Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant:
All indicators are green, Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant operated in a safe manner last year.

That was the conclusion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which hosted a public meeting at the Monticello Community Center Thursday to discuss the results of inspections conducted at MNGP during 2004.

"We had no reason to conduct supplement inspections at this facility,"” said Bruce Burgess, NRC branch chief.

The NRC uses a scale of colors "–green, white, yellow and red" –to assess plant performance and rank inspection findings. Green represents the most favorable conditions/findings and red the most severe/problematic.

In both plant performance and inspection findings, Monticello ranked green in all areas.

This means the NRC believes that any concerns or issues that may have arisen at the plant are minor enough that MNGP may take its own corrective measures without the NRC conducting supplemental inspections.
Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

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…