Skip to main content

Science Friday Debate

NEI Executive Vice President Angie Howard will be debating Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research on this week's edition of the NPR program, Science Friday. Click here for the live stream beginning at 2:00 p.m. U.S. EDT.

UPDATE: Most of the debate so far has centered around the planned used fuel repository at Yucca Mountain. Also joining in the discussion on the front end was Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL). She serves as serves as Chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Energy.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The bulk of the last segment dealt with the relative costs of wind and nuclear energy in electrical generation. One point Angie made repeatedly was that nuclear was both less expensive and more reliable than wind power. Click here for our fact sheet on nuclear energy cost and reliability.

One important point: when one of our representatives gets involved in a discussion like this one, it can often sound as if the choice is between either nuclear energy or renewables. That's a false choice. In fact, with electricity demand rising by as much as 50 percent over the next 20 years, there will be plenty of room for all types of electrical generation. And when it comes to electrical generation, a diverse portfolio is a stable portfolio.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

John said…
I assume Angie is the same Angie Howard I knew at Duke Power Company in Charlotte, NC in the mid 1970's. I attended an environmental engineering course taught by NC State on site at Duke with Angie. It is nice to hear her. She is doing very well in the discussion.
John
itismyopinion.blogspot.com

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…