Tuesday, July 26, 2005

From the NEI Clip File

Here are some of the news clips we're reading at NEI today. The Wichita Eagle is checking in on the energy bill:

House and Senate negotiators are awaiting completion of an $11.5 billion tax package before giving final approval to an sweeping compromise energy bill that Congress hopes to send to President Bush by week's end.

...The broad legislation includes measures to spur construction of new nuclear power plants, promote ways to reduce pollution from coal and provides a boon to farmers by requiring refiners to double the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons a year by 2012.

It also would...[provide] loan guarantees and other subsidies for clean energy technologies and new nuclear reactors. It would authorize a $1.8 billion program to promote clean coal technologies.
With the NuStart consortium getting closer to an announcement of where they might build a new nuclear power plant, the six sites under consideration are lobbying hard to become one of the two finalists:
A consortium of energy companies is choosing among six sites for the two plants, which face at least a decade of red tape and construction before they could begin generating electricity. The group, called NuStart, has said it will announce the two sites by October.

Elected officials have little or no involvement in the selection, but the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have been enthusiastic in voicing their desire to have a new nuclear plant. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco announced her support for putting one north of Baton Rouge, along the Mississippi River.

Blanco said a new plant would bring thousands of temporary construction jobs, and between 250 and 400 permanent white-collar jobs. She said nuclear power would help stabilize electric costs.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has made similar arguments. In May, Barbour addressed a group of nuclear industry leaders and offered Mississippi as a good state for a new nuclear plant, praising nuclear energy as cleaner and more efficient than any other.
Click here for audio of Governor Barber's speech at the 2005 Nuclear Energy Assembly. On the international front, the U.K. power industry recently backed the future use of nuclear energy, urging the British government to remove obstacles to building new reactors:
The Association of Electricity Producers (AEP), whose members include EDF, E.ON, RWE and Scottish and Southern Energy, said a new fleet of reactors would benefit Britain in terms of supply security and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

"The generating industry faces a massive program of investment in power stations," said AEP chief executive David Porter in a statement.

"They will have to be competitive and meet carbon reduction and other environmental requirements. New nuclear power may well play a part in this."
In Indonesia, Dradjat Wibowo, a member of that nation's House's National Development Planning Commission, said that his country must consider nuclear energy as a power option:
"We need to reconsider the building of a nuclear power plant (PLTN) and hold discussions on the use of nuclear energy in Indonesia," Dradjat said here on Monday. He said that the idea on a PLTN should not be blocked, but revived by involving energy experts to guarantee the safe use of this type of energy.

"This does not mean that I agree, because I am not an energy expert, but I will follow what the experts say," Dradjat, who is also member of the House PAN (National Mandate Party) faction, said. He added that the "mistake" that Indonesia has made in the oil and gas sector is already too serious, so that the use of energy resources other than fossil energy, deserved a consideration.
Australian Senator Ian Campbell recently defended his support of uranium mining against local opposition there:
"We can play a constructive part of reducing greenhouse gases by making sure uranium is made available to the world in a safe way, and in a secure way," he said.

Senator Campbell says it would be silly and xenophobic for Australia to refuse to export uranium on ideological grounds.
Come back tomorrow for more news from the NEI Clip File.

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