Skip to main content

McCain, Obama Surrogates on Nuclear Power

In the middle of the D segment on CNN's Late Edition, we find this interesting exchange between Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):
Blitzer: What about the nuclear program that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is recommending?
Feinstein: I think there are a couple of problems with nuclear yet. I think the technology with respect to waste. The training with respect to human, preventing human error has greatly improved. And it may well be possible to do some nuclear.

That again, the permit system is extraordinarily difficult. [It] will take time. In the meantime, I think we have to begin to look into things like speculation on the futures market with respect to oil.

Blitzer: You think there's been some hanky panky there?
Feinstein: Oh, yeah. I think there has been.
Blitzer: Do you agree on that?
Hutchinson: We cannot bring down the cost of gasoline at the pump unless we produce more. And that means nuclear power. We haven't had an accident at a nuclear power plant in this country in 25-years...or ever in this country. We haven't had a [new] nuclear power plant in 25-years and yet other countries are using it very efficiently.

Comments

Martin said…
Expanding the nuclear program as an answer to rising gas prices is smart. Anyone else in DC making this connection?
Anonymous said…
What's the market share of cars, trucks, aircrafts and commercial vessels currently running on electricity, such that more nuclear power plants will reduce the prices at the gas pump?
DV8 2XL said…
Transportation is not the only sector that burns oil. Heating oil is a obvious example.

If electric heat is made the less expensive option, not only will that lessen dependence on oil, but would free natural gas for transportation use.

This is just one example of how nuclear power can replace oil.
Anonymous said…
I'm totally pro-nuclear, but there's little connection between nuclear power and oil prices. There's a strong connection between nuclear power and coal prices.

If we had high-temperature reactors like LFTR or PBMR that could produce synthetic hydrocarbons fuels from thermochemical hydrogen, that would be one thing. But LWRs aren't displacing much petroleum. Some, but not much.
Matthew66 said…
The market share of ships running on electricity is significant and rising. A lot of new passenger vessels are fitted with azimuth pods that provide propulsion and steering. These are large electric motors fitted below the hull. The electricity is generated by diesel motors onboard the vessel, which also supply all the electricity used on board.

The diesel generators could be replaced by a small nuclear power plant. If this were a cheaper option I'm sure shipping lines would look closely at it. Any reactor for commercial shipping would need either online refueling, a long core life, or rapid refueling that fits the drydocking schedule of commercial shipping. To make the investment in such technology, shipping lines would also need a stable regulatory environment and the ability to call at all ports that they currently service.

None of this is impossible, but until the price of fuel oil gets so high that it becomes an economic necessity to change, change probably won't happen. If change does happen, it will probably come rapidly.
gunter said…
Expanding nuclear power to surplant oil demand and prices is the biggest load of hooey yet.

In fact, nuclear power is being proposed to expand oil production and export from Saudi Arabia and the tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

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…

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?

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…