Monday, February 13, 2006

Secretary Bodman Addresses Platts Conference in Washington

The Platts Nuclear Energy Conference is being held in town this week, and Energy Secretary Sam Bodman delivered an interesting speech:

I think a third global challenge becomes evident when we look at the question of national security more broadly. Even if we are able to quickly and resoundingly defeat the terrorist threat we currently face, we will still be confronted with the desperate, grinding poverty that grips so much of the world.

What developed nations should, or indeed can, do about this poverty raises complex political and moral questions. But it also raises national security considerations, in the sense that the most underdeveloped and "“failed" states have frequently served as safe havens for terrorists and other fanatics. Think of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, or Bin Laden'’s forays into chaotic Sudan.

But if these underdeveloped nations are ever to build thriving economies, and achieve lasting prosperity, they will need -- perhaps above all else -- —access to affordable and reliable energy supplies, particularly electricity.
That's a note that our CEO, Skip Bowman, has hit on a number of occasions. Here's what he had to say last Fall during a speech in Savannah, Georgia:
The world needs massive deployment of carbon-free technologies like nuclear energy.

We know there is a direct correlation between a country'’s per capita income and its people's access to electricity ... between that access to electricity and infant mortality rates ... between that access to electricity and life expectancy.

I believe the world is approaching a crossroads -- two possible futures -- in terms of energy supply, as our global population increases from 6 billion today to 9 billion by the middle of this century, with most of this growth in impoverished areas -- —areas without access to electricity.

Down one path lies a future I do not care to contemplate: A world in which we fail to supply the energy needed to ensure that most of the world'’s people are fed and sheltered, educated and employed ... a world in which children yet unborn are condemned to a life of poverty and misery and sickness.

But down the second path lies a brighter world: A world in which energy development is managed in a sustainable way ... a world in which we no longer fight wars with guns and bullets ... a world instead in which we use science and technology -- —including nuclear energy technology -- to fight poverty and sickness and environmental damage.
To read the rest of Secretary Bodman's speech, click here.

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1 comment:

Paul Primavera said...

NRC Chairman Nils Diaz's remarks at the Platt's Conference may be found at:

"NEW PLANT DESIGN, CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING"
< http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/speeches/2006/s-06-002.html >