Skip to main content

Rocking the Outrage in Charleston

pc_logo We highlighted the Washington Post’s response to the Yucca Mountain situation because the paper carries some weight and helps set the agenda for the news media. But other editorials can drop the responsible judicious pose and just let ‘er rip:

President Obama's decision to abandon the national nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain, Nev., is a breathtakingly irresponsible dismissal of a vital project on which billions already have been spent. It extends a security risk at dozens of temporary waste disposal sites around the nation and threatens to cripple the future nuclear development needed to advance national energy independence.

So there! We don’t really agree that maintaining the fuel at sites is a massive security threat – it’s an issue plants wrestled to the ground a long time ago, with a lot of extra attention paid to it after 9/11/01. And the developing attitude seems to be that leaving nuclear out of the energy mix is a non-starter.

But heck, they do know how to rock the outrage down in South Carolina:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., describes the administration's decision as a repudiation of candidate Obama's stated environmental and energy goals, and as a nod to the far left. "It is disingenuous to say you are going to do something about solving the climate change problem and energy independence without nuclear energy," the senator told us Friday.

We’ve watched enough Fox News to know that “far left” merely means “not conservative,” but we agree with Sen. Graham otherwise. We also would note that there are plenty on the far left, er, left who agree with him – Sen. Graham would be well-advised to tip-toe over to that side of the aisle and see who’s who.

Great editorial, though – fiery and injudicious, not always facing facts squarely, but leaving lots of room for quarrelling.

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…