Skip to main content

Nuclear Engineers on John Edwards and Yucca Mountain

Elizabeth McAndrew-Benavides and her husband watched John Edwards on Meet The Press on Sunday, and they weren't happy with what he had to say about nuclear energy and Yucca Mountain:
My 30 year old Hispanic husband and I watched Tim Russert this past Sunday and were incredibly disappointed with the uneducated statement John Edwards made concerning Yucca Mountain. We are both nuclear engineers who are proud to work as environmentalist on a daily basis to supply the needed electricity for our country.

I will gladly vote for a candidate who supports a national call for conservation, but I cannot support a candidate who does not understand the fundamental basis nuclear power supplies for our energy security. I became a nuclear engineer because I believe the millennia generation will need to do more than just debate the energy question, but constantly work to solve it. My husband and I help create an emissions free base load energy supply for millions of US citizens. Nuclear Power is not dependent on the Middle East for oil and I personally ensure that our plant is a good environmental steward by operating within environmental guidelines.

Simply stating that nuclear waste should stay near its home location is a policy that continues a broken promise by the federal government. John Edwards should consider a policy that includes updating US technology to reprocess used nuclear fuel and continuing the necessary research and construction of a permanent fuel repository.
For more, visit the African-American Environmentalist Association.

UPDATE: More thoughts from DCS Security.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I didn't see Meet the Press with John Edwards, but I am not surprised to hear of Mr. Edwards comments. Why? He's a former trial lawyer; probably hasn't taken a science class since high school biology. He made millions suing corporations, hospitals, etc. He has never done any productive "work" in today's society (including his stint in congress). So to hear that he has made inane comments regarding Yucca Mountain, the science supporting the project, etc. does not surprise me the least. Having been a failed VP candidate, perhaps he should devote his life towards something more productive than another failed attempt at public office.
Anonymous said…
Edwards should be more supportive of nuclear energy if for no other reason that he lives in the South where there is quite a bit of nuclear capacity, some of which helps power that 28,200 sq. ft. mansion he just moved into. From the looks of the land around it, he had to clear-cut quite a few trees as well to make room to build it on his 102 acres of land. Well, Edwards likes to talk their being "two Americas". I wonder which one someone who has a 28,200 sq. ft. mansion would belong to? Heck, I've only got 1500 sq. ft. in a tract development and I'm happy to have some of my electricity come from nuclear.
Na. Nadir said…
Personally, my guess is that Yucca Mountain is a really, really, really bad idea.

I can imagine nothing worse than burying the valuable materials is spent nuclear fuel.

At the least, at the very least, the uranium in spent fuel - as well as all of the other actinides needs to be recovered.

It may be true that there needs to be a central facility at some point for spent fuel - a centralized approach. But as a firm supporter of nuclear energy I am convinced that Yucca Mountain is not the ideal solution, by a long shot.

We can raise all sorts of irrelevant points about Mr. Edwards and his career, but for the long term - maybe not the short term, but for the long term - the ideal solution is to do as little as is possible about the "problem" of so called "nuclear waste."

NNadir
Anonymous said…
I don't think the points made in the earlier posts concerning the background and career of Mr. Edwards or his own lifestyle vs. the positions he advocates as public policy are irrelevant. He has declared himself a candidate for the highest elective office in the land. As such, almost everything about him is subject to public scrutiny. The people have a right to know where a candidate stands, what his/her beliefs are, how well they practice what they preach. All of these relate in some manner to issues of character, morals, integrity, honesty, and dependability. Most of us believe these to be important for one who seeks elective office.
Frank McKinnon said…
I came across this blog while searching for a presidential candidate that would take a stand of protecting America from the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). I didn’t have an opportunity to listen to John Edwards, and don’t know what he said. Can any of you let me know whether or not there is a transcript of his speech?

http://www.frankmckinnon.com

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…