Thursday, June 23, 2005

More Bloggers For Nuclear Energy

Some talk has been generated around the Blogosphere about President Bush's visit to the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, and the renewal of his call for America to make expanded use of nuclear energy.

Reality Hammer: "It's about time . . . You cannot wait until the price of oil reaches $100 a barrel!"

Jon Whitelaw: "Welcome to our future, it looks bright indeed, and Bush has made a step in the right direction with this news."

Rich Tehrani: " Nuclear is an option that if deployed securely, can work well to help supply part of the world's energy needs."

More later.

UPDATE: Rhyme of the Day has some interesting thoughts:

This message is brought to you by nuclear power. Well, 70% of it, anyway.

That's the percentage of Chicago electricity that comes from nukes, and they're talking about building a new one! I'm rather relieved see that nuclear energy is somehow becoming politically acceptable again.
ANOTHER UPDATE: There's plenty of local reaction from around the nation as well. Here's one report from California's Central Coast:
Here on the Central Coast, those responsible for operating Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant say they are encouraged by the Commander-in-Chief's comments.

"People are starting to realize and focus on that this is an important asset that nuclear power brings to the table," says Jeff Lewis, of PG&E.
The President's speech has people thinking in East Tennessee and Illinois as well.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's Eric Hopp:
For once, I will have to agree with President Bush. We do need to start looking at designing and building new nuclear power plants. The technology has certainly advanced dramatically in the last 30 years. We need to start looking at new, innovative designs for nuclear reactors which can incorporate better environmental and safety concerns. This is certainly one method to reduce U.S. oil consumption for its energy needs.
When it comes to new plant designs, that means Generation IV. Later, Eric does express some concerns about the way plants are regulated. For those of you who want to investigate the issue further, you might want to read Skip Bowman's speech from the NRC's Regulatory Information Conference from last March.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: The newswire over at the Huffington Post ran an item on Matt Wald's story in the New York Times, and some of the comments are very revealing. Here's one comment that came in response to a challenge to see if anyone would be willing to live near a nuclear power plant:
I've lived by a plant for many years and I don't think its a big deal. Where else are we going to get the power we need? I've yet to hear a viable alternative to nuclear power.
The following came in response to concerns about reactor safety:
A nuclear plant is not a nuclear bomb.

Building nuclear plants with modern technology is a smart thing to do.

And any of the stopglobalwarming.com crowd should be happy to get behind this.
Some commenters were evidently fed up with radical environmentalists:
Its time to put up or shut up. Either the environmental movement is interested in saving up from global warming- or its all a smokescreen for their war on industrialism.
Let's end on this surprisingly well informed comment:
Solar, wind, and the like need another 25-50 years of investment, and even then they will be a relatively small percentage of the energy mix. Today they comprise less than 1%.

Nuclear is the way to go...which will help bring down the price of electricity, thus making electric cars more viable (battery technologies are continuing to make huge strides as well, and investment in nuclear energy will indirectly fuel even more R&D into battery technology).

As for the "security threat" of nuclear power plants: let's just say that they will be far better protected than all the mass-transit systems and bridges that have somehow emerged from 9/11 unscathed. Stop the fearmongering.
More later.

FINAL UPDATE: Here's Matt from Matt's Blog:
Why don't the environmentalists realize that nuclear power is the only viable option on the table that offers the energy we need without release CO2 or toxins? Windmills and hybrids are totally insufficient. In fact, they are insignificant.

I disagree with the assertion that safety concerns have not been addressed. Accidents (or mistakes) like those in the past are not feasible in modern nuclear facilities.
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2 comments:

Norris McDonald said...

Traditional environmentalists live in an idealist world. It is a world that would not work for most Americans. If they do not accept the logic of nuclear power in a climate changing world, they will have to be dismissed. Americans need more electricity with less emissions 24/7. History will note that the mainstream green movement missed the boat on this one.

The African American Environmentalist Association is proud to stand up and shout from the mountaintops that, "we were the first environmental group to get it right on this one." We are like a nuclear power plant -- small but powerful.

Matthew66 said...

Many of the bloggers contributing on the Huffington Post were rather vitriolic and made statements that seemed to me to be more idealogical than based on science. We need new electrical generation capacity in the US, both to replace units that should be retired, and to increase supply to satisfy increased demand. It is encumbent upon us to undertake a thorough scientific analysis of all the options open to us, and select the option that is most environmentally sustainable. Having read most of recent scientific documents and opinions published by NEI, WANO, IAEA and UNSCEAR, as well as some of the opinion pieces published elsewhere, I believe that for the few years that option is nuclear. In fifty years time, a different option may be the answer, but we have to deal with what we know here and now.