Monday, August 04, 2008

McCain, Obama on Energy in Michigan

McCain Obama on Energy in MichiganWith Senator John McCain touring the Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Newport tomorrow and Senator Barack Obama delivering a major energy speech today in Lansing, the state of Michigan, and its 17 electoral votes, is center stage this week in the presidential campaign. The pull quote from Obama's address

In addition, we’ll find safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste. And we’ll invest in the technology that will allow us to use more coal, America’s most abundant energy source, with the goal of creating five “first-of-a-kind” coal-fired demonstration plants with carbon capture and sequestration.

Of course, too often, the problem is that all of this new energy technology never makes it out of the lab and onto the market because there’s too much risk and too much cost involved in starting commercial-scale clean energy businesses. So we will remove some of this cost and this risk by directing billions in loans and capital to entrepreneurs who are willing to create clean energy businesses and clean energy jobs right here in America.

As we develop new sources of energy and electricity, we will also need to modernize our national utility grid so that it’s accommodating to new sources of power, more efficient, and more reliable. That’s an investment that will also create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and one that I will make as President.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama says "In addition, we’ll find safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste."

The DOE has just submitted a license application to the NRC that concludes the repository will remain safe for 1 million years. How much "safer" do we need to be?

NRC needs to complete its technical review of this license application, and Congress needs to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to use this repository in a more logical way, which means not rushing to send spent fuel there when it could be recycled instead, and instead using Yucca for defense and civilian high level wastes.

Joffan said...

anon, you seem to have answered your own question. Simple re-use (DUPIC), reprocessing and fast reactors would all be "safer", simply by reducing the amount of waste per kWh.

As for "rushing" spent fuel to Yucca - I think your observation is timely. Now is the right time to get ahead with all the above waste-reduction programs, to avoid pointless shipments in ten years time.