Skip to main content

WSJ: "Remove the regulatory barriers to further investment in nuclear power."

In the wake of last week's news concerning the award of the ITER project to France, the Wall Street Journal is suggesting that the U.S. could learn much (subscription required) from the example of France's experience with nuclear energy:
No country gets a larger share of its total electricity from nuclear power than France at 78%. Perhaps more amazing, France consumes less than 4% of the world's energy but produces a sixth of its nuclear power. Because the groundwork for this nuclear proficiency was laid in decades past, France deserves to be at the center of the attempt to take the next big step forward, fusion . . .

"Sudden climate change" -- the current re-definition of the "global warming threat" -- will come up at this week's G8 summit in Scotland. Instead of browbeating President Bush for not signing the Kyoto Protocol, industrial nation leaders could do more for economic growth and the environment by vowing to follow France's example and remove the regulatory barriers to further investment in nuclear power.
Technorati tags: , , , , ,


Tom DC/VA said…
"industrial nation leaders could do more for economic growth and the environment by vowing to follow France's example and remove the regulatory barriers to further investment in nuclear power."

More lies from the WSJ. The French nuclear industry is highly state-controlled and hardly model of free-market enterpise.
Rod Adams said…
I have to concur with Tom on this one. The French nuclear power program is certainly not an example of how removing regulatory barriers would encourage more nuclear power development.

France is, however, does provide some good basis for understanding why some countries provide fertile ground for groups opposed to nuclear power while others do not.

Until De Gaul recognized that France could develop and build a domestic nuclear industry, it was a country whose history since the Industrial Revolution had been greatly influenced by the fact that it is not blessed with indigenous fossil fuel resources. It was a great power in the age of sail, but once people began capturing power from coal, oil and gas, France faded in comparison to its rivals - mainly Great Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States - all of whom had excellent sources of fossil fuel.

France was able to build nukes with little opposition because there was no fossil infrastructure to pay the anti-nukes to demonstrate.
Vern Cornell said…
I cannot agree with Tom and Rod.
France is very competitive.
She wants to build in China and elsewhere in competition with the two USA companies and in compete with SoKorea and Japan. We should surely applaud this.
Vern cornell

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 …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.

Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …