Skip to main content

The Daily Reckoning: Change in Congressional Control Augurs Well for Nuclear Energy

Today at The Daily Reckoning, Justice Litle takes a look at how the change in control of Congress works in nuclear energy's favor:
Whether the public accepts global warming or not, Western governments surely do. The United States was arguably the last holdout, and with Sen. Barbara Boxer (California) succeeding Inhofe as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, that domino has clearly fallen. Politics aside, this is another feather in uranium's cap: Regime change in Washington, combined with the urgent need to "do something" about global warming, works in favour of nuclear energy.

The Democrats would no doubt like to rely more on greener solutions, like solar and wind, but those industries are still too small to pack a meaningful wallop. The green technologies of tomorrow hold great promise, but they have not yet demonstrated an ability to perform at scale. Nuclear power has already demonstrated its safety, scalability and 90%-plus reliability, with next-gen technology like pebble bed reactors offering improved maintenance and safety to boot.
Click here for another view from Dan Denning. There's plenty more, including an examination of the geopolitics involved. Read the rest right now.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Robert Schwartz said…
They may believe in global warming, but they also believe that nuclear power is the root of all evil. They are politicians, not logical thinkers.
Anonymous said…
That's a pretty broad brush you're waving around there, Robert.

However I admit there is some truth in the idea that most politicians, of whatever party, are not overly concerned with logic. That leaves it up to those of us who do insist on evidence and causation to make sure at least that the right questions are asked. Like "How much electricity do we need?" and "What technologies can produce that much?" and "How safe are you willing to pay for?". The safety can be measured in TWhr/death or some such units. The LNT model should be ridiculed at every opportunity.

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 …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…