Skip to main content

Press Weighs In on Democrats and Yucca Mountain

That Democratic Presidential debate on Tuesday night in Nevada keeps kicking up some dust.

Here's USA Today:
Yucca Mountain thus becomes the latest evidence of why it's so destructive to give a few early-voting states so much clout in the presidential selection process. Already this year, candidates have gone to Iowa and promised support for wasteful corn-based ethanol, and to Michigan and pledged fealty to the ailing auto industry. In both cases, candidates catered to a single state's interests by promising bad policy for the nation.

Now Nevada joins the list.

At Tuesday's debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all vowed to block the remote Yucca Mountain site if they become president — but failed to offer any alternative except more study.

In a singularly disingenuous bit of political jiu-jitsu, Edwards (who twice voted for Yucca Mountain) said he opposed using the site and then said he opposed building any more nuclear power plants because there's no safe way to dispose of the waste.

In an only slightly less irresponsible comment, Obama said he opposed dumping at Yucca even though his home state of Illinois has the most nuclear plants. Let's see whether we follow the logic: His state is contributing more to the problem than any other, but he opposes the only likely solution.

Clinton said she opposed the Yucca site — and attacked Obama and Edwards for not being quite as opposed as she is. Frankly, it was hard to tell the difference.
Here's Investor's Business Daily:
But there may be an even better solution: Recycle spent fuel rods to produce even more greenhouse-gas-reducing nuclear energy.

Over the past four decades, America's reactors have produced about 56,000 tons of used fuel. Jack Spencer, research fellow for nuclear energy policy at the Thomas A. Rowe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, says this "waste" has enough energy to power every U.S. household for a dozen years.

As we've noted, France long ago achieved energy independence by relying on nuclear energy for most of its power needs. But it also leads the world in processing this waste to create even more energy.

The French have reprocessed spent nuclear fuel for 30 years without incident. There have been no accidental explosions, no terrorist attacks, no contribution to nuclear proliferation. Their facility in La Hague has safely processed more than 23,000 tons of spent fuel, or enough to power the entire country for 14 years.

The U.S. pioneered the technology to recapture that energy decades ago, then banned its commercial use in 1977. An energy plan that does not involve continued and even increased use of nuclear power is no plan at all. And even if we closed all nuclear plants tomorrow, the waste problem would remain.

Power to the people — nuclear power.
UPDATE: More from NAM Blog and The Weekly Standard.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?