Skip to main content

Dueling Editorials: The USA-India Agreement

deliv01 The New York Times and the Washington Post have both put up editorials on the pending agreement to allow the India and the United States to share nuclear technologies. The Times doesn't like it:

The nuclear agreement was a bad idea from the start. Mr. Bush and his team were so eager for a foreign policy success that they gave away the store. They extracted no promise from India to stop producing bomb-making material. No promise not to expand its arsenal. And no promise not to resume nuclear testing.

The Post is all in:

For all its flaws, the agreement would create more international supervision of India's nuclear fuel cycle than there would be without it. If Congress backs out now, the only victims will be American nuclear suppliers, who would have to stand aside while French and Russian companies expand India's nuclear power system.

Although we agree more with the Post, we find its arguments a rather weakish tea. American nuclear suppliers can take care of themselves without this deal, and, as we've seen over numerous posts, the U.S. has been all over the globe making partnerships with various European and Asian countries. France and Russia will be in India competing even if the treaty passes, so there's no guarantee America would see tremendous amounts of business (although we actually think it would.)

But the Times, even with stronger arguments, approaches this with an ideological purity that ignores the nature of the players in this deal - this isn't, say, a Russia-Iran hair raiser - and the practical effects of the treaty, which are fairly benign. We grant that the elements the U.S. is skirting here are important, but have to agree with the Post that a rigid adherence to rules intended to rein in rogue nations shouldn't trip up this deal.

Chances are good for this one. Sens. McCain and Obama are both in support and House Speaker Pelosi wants to move it along and will waive a rule that would have hurt its chances. There's very little downside politically.

Now, the Russia-US nuclear deal, on the other hand - whoof!

Billy Redden in Deliverance. Dueling Banjos, of course, was the moment where the city men found a way to bond with the mountain men, followed of course by misunderstanding, murder and various horrific events. A unique novel and film about the masculine imperative gone mad. Redden was a high-school boy from the Georgia area where Deliverance was filmed; he reappeared briefly in Big Fish (2003) - playing the banjo.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…