Skip to main content

Now is the Time to ‘Get Busy’ on Nuclear Resurgence, Sessions Says

“Time’s a wastin’ ” was the repeated message guest speaker Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) imparted to attendees at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Regulatory Information Conference last week.

In remarks aimed at Congress, federal agencies and the nuclear industry itself, Sessions—who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee—said the United States for too long has foregone pursuing nuclear energy as an important part of the answer to the growing need for a secure energy source to help meet the country’s growing energy needs while meeting clean air goals.

Sessions said he hopes we will one day look back at the restart of the Browns Ferry plant last year as the starting point of a nuclear resurgence. He noted that his state has five operating reactors with applications submitted for two more.

“It’s clear nuclear power ain’t dead yet, as we might say in Alabama,” Sessions said.

The lawmaker recounted the frustration he felt after touring the Bellefonte plant shortly after entering the Senate in 1997.

“That’s a $4 billion facility,” Sessions said. “It looks like you could walk into the control room and start it up. I couldn’t help but think how much CO2, mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide has been emitted because that never started up. It’s a great tragedy; and one that is replicated too often around the country.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wow I'm agreeing with what a politician said!

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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 …

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…