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

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

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…