Monday, March 27, 2006

State Legislatures Support New Nuclear Build

So many states have been busy passing resolutions or legislation to support new nuclear plant construction that it might just be time for a roundup of all the activity. The bills and resolutions address the sharp increase in energy demand and consumption expected in the United States in the coming decades. They also recognize the need for increased energy independence; new-build incentives in the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and nuclear energy’s safety, reliability and clean-air attributes.

The South Dakota legislature passed a resolution (1010) Feb. 27 supporting the development of nuclear power in the state. It encourages U.S. academic institutions to pursue research in developing nuclear energy, and is similar to a bill, signed into law March 3, to examine the feasibility of new nuclear generation in the state.

Another resolution (865), passed by a large majority of the Georgia State Senate in March, urges electric utilities to conduct a feasibility study for building new nuclear power plants in the state. The resolution cites the price volatility of natural gas—which fuels the large majority of power plants built in Georgia in the last 15 years—as a reason not only to consider new nuclear build, but also to maintain the state’s current share (about 27 percent) of nuclear generation.

Virginia’s proposed comprehensive 10-year energy plan (SB 262), passed by both houses, directs the State Corporation Commission to evaluate different land areas for their suitability as future sites of nuclear, wind energy, liquefied natural gas and solar energy facilities. The four reactors at the existing Surry and North Anna nuclear plants, however, are exempt from this process.

The Florida Energy Diversity and Efficiency Act (S 2494), now under consideration in both houses, proposes a “centrally coordinated permitting process” to support new reactors in the state. It also would define the process for expanding generating capacity at existing nuclear plants in the state.

Out West, the governor of Utah signed a bill (H.B. 46) in March that promotes the study of nuclear power generation.

The legislature in South Carolina is considering a bill (S 1238) encouraging construction of a new nuclear reactor at the single-reactor V.C. Summer plant, of which the South Carolina Public Service Authority and South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. share ownership.

And finally, a bill (HB 2904) is moving through the Kansas House of Representatives that would provide a property tax exemption for a new or expanded nuclear generation facility.

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9 comments:

Don Kosloff said...

Those North Dakota legislators don't know that God is an anti-nuke.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_060326nuclear.shtml

But then why did He start up those reactors in Oklo?

Don Kosloff said...

Well, posting that link didn't work. Just go to the link below and look at the 7th link down in the center column.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/

It still won't answer my quetion about Oklo, though.

Brian Mays said...

Hmmm ...

Blessed are the windmillmakers, for they shall receive an attractive production tax credit.

I don't recall seeing that in the King James Version. Perhaps it's in the Newly Revised Green Living Translation.

Actually, if you read what they have to say, clearly it is Jesus who is anti-nuclear, not God. Indeed, God must be pro-nuclear and pro-radiation, since radiation was the first thing he chose to create when he commanded, "Let there be light."

Paul Primavera said...

Brian,

You're not quite correct.

John 8:12 states,

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

-----

BTW, according to Trinitarian doctrine preached by most major Christian denominations, Jesus IS God. However, to the pseudo-environmentalists some sort of goddess Earth is in charge. I suppose an analogous sect may have existed 2000 years ago in the ancient Roman Empire. It's an old idea, one that hasn't died yet.

Brian Mays said...

Actually, I just realized that my earlier comment was unclear. By "what they have to say," I meant to refer to the comments of the Christian Ecology Link and the church leaders quoted in the article referenced above, not to the versions of the Bible itself. What I wrote could have been interpreted both ways. I wanted to comment on the supporters of the anti-nuclear "moral imperative" -- in a rather tongue-in-cheek way -- and not to draw any specific conclusions myself from religious doctrine.

But, Paul, your points are well taken. Now if only we could hook up some photovoltaics to produce electricity from that light, then we would have nothing to worry about. Maybe that's the strategy that they have in mind.

Paul Primavera said...

Thank you, Brian.

Whatever one's religion (Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.) or 'Higher Power' (Jesus, Yahweh, the Tao, etc.), our natural resources are truly gifts from that 'Higher Power' to be used with responsibility for the benefit of all human kind - men, women and children. Such gifts include uranium.

Surely (no matter what one's religion is) no goal is more worthy than saving human life and bringing prosperity to the human condition the world over. Imagine third world countries no longer over-ridden by poverty and disease, brought into health and wealth by low cost, pollution-free energy. Imagine little children no longer growing up in malaria infested villages. The use of nuclear power can help to do exactly that.

To the members of the "Christian Ecology" movement, I ask 'What would Jesus (or Buddha or Lao Tzu) do?'

Don Kosloff said...

Apropos of Paul's incisive comment on the gift of uranium; uranium and thorium are rare elements in that they were created dangerous and can only be made less so by using them to provide beneficial power. Dr. Cohen has explained the details of this reality.

Starvid, Sweden said...

Don't be so patronizing against old pantheistic nature religions. In ancient Greek mythology we have both Gaia, the Earth mother and Apollo, the God of light and hence, the God of radiation.

:)

We also have Helios, God of the sun and the myth of his son Phaeton which tells us what disasters await when you let unskilled people meddle with vast powers, even if those powers are essential for creating good.
(For those of you that don't remember it from school Phaeton got to drive the chariot which pulled the sun and almost crashed it into the earth to the ruin of us all. Zeus stopped him but alas, he had already burnt the Ethiopians, turning their skin black).

Quite a good allegory for not having safe reactors, don't you agree?

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/phaeton.html

Paul Primavera said...

Starvid,

I intend no offense against any pantheistic believer (I think that the moderator at Yahoo's Safe_Clean_Nuclear_Power message board is one herself). My only point is that we are stewards of the gifts of nature (whether they come from God or the gods), and those gifts include (as Don correctly mentioned) uranium and thorium. Nothing is as important as human life, human prosperity and human posterity. We owe it to ourselves and our descendents to discharge our stewardship responsibly. In part that means safely using nuclear energy to obviate the necessity of polluting the environment with the refuse of burning mineral slime (oil) and mineral rock (coal).

I am often reminded of what Robert Heinlein wrote: "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." So I try not to be too serious about theological matters (a mentor told me one time that I didn't need to know who God was, only that I wasn't Him and I needed His help). This matter isn't one of theology, but of what will benefit the human condition most. I sincerely believe that the safe use of nuclear energy does exactly that, regardless of one's religion or lack thereof.