Skip to main content

Simpson and Murkowski on Getting It

simpson For starters, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) can read the numbers:

In fact, the American people are well ahead of congressional Democrats in their support for nuclear energy. In a recent survey, fully 74 percent of Americans expressed support for nuclear energy, and with good reason.

Let’s acknowledge that supporting something purely due to poll numbers is not a great practice – people being ruled by passions and all – but in this instance, it allows discussion of the issue without much risk of being pitched out of office – and that’s only to the benefit of nuclear energy.

Simpson sees that not only can it work but has worked (and even nods to the French, a Republican no-no (<:)

France learned long ago that nuclear energy is safe, abundant and cheap. … Using our technology and the political will we lacked, France created a nuclear energy system that keeps the French people reliant upon only themselves for electricity and that ensures stability in their energy sector for decades to come.

And he gets the carbon emission reduction percentages and their implications:

The most recent version of their bill would require 20 percent of our nation's baseload energy sources to come from renewable fuels and energy efficiencies by 2020. Further, the bill would require a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020 and would establish some sort of auction whereby emitters would purchase credits.

And okay, we don’t agree with everything he says:

Republicans support renewable energy. Heck, we all do. But who wants their grandmother's kidney dialysis machine to rely on wind energy on a calm day or solar energy when the sun is not shining? Not me

But in general, we really appreciate that Simpson grasps the issues in so rounded a manner – we’ve charted a lot of off-the-wall Congressional hectoring on the developing energy policy, but Simpson really grasps the potential for nuclear energy going forward.

Himself.

---

Here’s a very good discussion on nuclear energy by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the ranking member on the energy and natural resources committee. When she talks on these issues, as she is here to President Obama, wise to listen. (warning: runs 20 minutes)

NOTE: Reposted. We made a big boo-boo that kind of wrecked our original point, but the materials still good. Enjoy.

Comments

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…