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Why Wisconsin is Looking at Nuclear Energy Again

The Green Bay Press-Gazette has an update on the proposed legislation we reported on last month concerning a possible lifting of the state's moratorium on new nuclear build:
Some might consider the push for nuclear energy a step backward, but state Rep. Phil Montgomery says both can work together to build the energy supply.

The Republican from Ashwaubenon, who co-authored the state's renewable energy bill last year and chairs a special task force on nuclear energy, said nuclear power provides a larger and more constant supply of electricity to Wisconsin's energy portfolio. He said climatic conditions vary energy output for wind and solar, making them "peaking powers."

"What our task force showed is that nuclear is a vital part of that generating portfolio," Montgomery said. "And as plants and technology age, we are very much in a building mode again."

Two weeks ago, the task force proposed legislation that would make it easier to introduce new nuclear power plants in Wisconsin. Similar proposals in the 2003 and 2005 sessions failed.

Gov. Jim Doyle has not come out strongly against nuclear energy in his tenure, but according to spokesman Matt Canter, "He does not want Wisconsin to be a testing ground for nuclear power." Doyle would rather fund renewable energy sources that have been proven to be safe, efficient and environmentally friendly, Canter said.
Testing ground? Last time I checked, Wisconsin already had three nuclear reactors generating in excess of 9.9 million MWh of electricity in 2005.

Sounds like the test has already been passed, and with flying colors.

For more from our archives on Wisconsin, click here.

Comments

Joffan said…
I'd like to rant briefly about terminology...

Wind and solar are not "peaking" sources, in the sense of providing for peak consumption. I'd prefer to call them "opportunity" sources - when they're available, we should take advantage of them, but day-to-day we can't to turn them as required. In combination with a limited hydro resource they make a great way to extend that hydro resource.
"Gov. Jim Doyle has not come out strongly against nuclear energy in his tenure, but according to spokesman Matt Canter, "He does not want Wisconsin to be a testing ground for nuclear power." Doyle would rather fund renewable energy sources that have been proven to be safe, efficient and environmentally friendly, Canter said."

That clearly says "veto" to me. Doyle is not going to go against his leftist, no-growth base by allowing new nuclear construction in the state.

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