Skip to main content

Making the Case for Maine's Nuclear Power Council

Last week we pointed to a story about how Maine State Rep. Bob Walker was proposing legislation to create a state Nuclear Power Council. In today's edition of the Waldo County Citizen, Walker makes the case for his proposal in greater detail:
Why should Maine encourage the construction of nuclear energy plants? Demand for electricity will escalate as our population expands and energy-hungry manufacturing industries grow. We need cheaper energy if our economy is going to stay competitive here and abroad. Wind and solar power are important sources to be developed, but overall they cannot make more than minor contributions.

Energy conservation is fine, but we could never conserve enough to meet expected future demands.

Nuclear power also is environmentally friendly and critical to national security. Nuclear plants have zero emissions of greenhouses gases. Today, nuclear energy supplies 16 percent of the world’s electricity, avoiding the emission of 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year.

And imagine the benefits of freeing ourselves from dependence on oil from Middle East hotspots.

[...]

The process of licensing and building a new nuclear power plant averages nearly a decade. Nuclear power not only can supply lots of cheap energy that our economy desperately needs to compete, it can meet an ever-growing demand for power production with an environmentally friendly, emission-free method of energy production.

The continued growth in electricity demand and tightening reserve margins should not only frighten but provide an opportunity.

I believe the Legislature, as a deliberative body, instead of always being concerned with simply the present, needs to be forward-looking and acting on such important matters. I hope I can convince my colleagues of the need and importance of nuclear energy come January in Augusta.
For more on Walker, click here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…