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U.S. and Russia Bring Nuclear to Fore at G8

Building on the announcement from earlier this week where the U.S. and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to the MOX fuel program, the two countries followed it up with a long-expected joint statement instructing their governments to begin talks on advancing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post likes what he sees so far:
Bush's determination to talk the world past its nuclear fears is evidenced not only in his bold proposed deals with India and Russia but also in his willingness to praise France, a country that is not one of his favorites, on this score.

"France has built 58 plants since the 1970s and now gets 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear power," Bush said on May 24. "They don't have to worry about natural gas coming from somewhere else. They worry about it, but they don't have to worry about it to the extent that we do."

Driven by events, rather than by any grand concept of his own, Bush has correctly identified nuclear energy as an important component in reducing global warming and pollution, combating proliferation and cutting the unhealthy dependence of industrial and developing nations alike on suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Bush must now show that his turn to nuclear is not simply short-term opportunism and ad hoc reaction to crisis but a well-integrated approach to a safer future.
It's good to see Hoagland recognize what Bush is doing, but I can't understand the comment concerning "short-term opportunism"when the Bush Administration has made nuclear a centerpiece of national energy policy from the outset, with the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership being just the latest piece.

For more on Russia from earlier this week, click here.

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Rod Adams said…

Though the Bush Administration has had favorable words to say about nuclear power for most of the time that it has been in office, I am not a big fan of their effectiveness.

The California energy crisis occurred five years ago; the price of oil was less than $20 per barrel in 2001 and has increased by nearly 400% since. Coal prices have more than doubled, and natural gas prices have more than tripled during the Bush Administration. I do not necessarily blame the Administration for everything that caused these increases, but they should recognize them and understand how they change things for average Americans.

Even with positive words and all of those changes in our energy picture, there has still been little action and not a single application filed for a COL (yet).

I personally am quite frustrated that the GNEP is just one more change in direction that uses the same money that used to be dedicated to other programs like Gen IV.

Andy Kadak got it right in his July 10 piece titled DOE's Blurred Nuclear Vision where he described how all of the changes have resulted in a situation with lots of public relations announcements but little real progress.

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