Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Word or Two from the President

Here are the words:

"There's no reason why technologically we can't employ nuclear energy in a safe and effective way. Japan does it and France does it and it doesn't have greenhouse gas emissions, so it would be stupid for us not to do that in a much more effective way."

This is from Reuters.

Video here. President Obama was speaking at a town hall in New Orleans. Go to the five minute mark for the nuclear comments.

Correction: we corrected Obama’s quote based on the video. Reuters did get it wrong.


Anonymous said...

Surely Democrats from Chicago only tell the truth, right? We have precedent thereof dating back to the 1930's, right?

Chad said...

Chicago is known for fix elections. I don’t know if they deserve any more credit than any other city or state for politicians that lie. More recent lying politicians include those who lied about WMDs or about being on the Appalachian Trail.

Look, if you don’t like Obama because he is pro-choice or because of health care reform, fine, but this board isn’t about those issues. If we have a Democratic president who says he wants reprocessing and supports nuclear power as a clean source of energy, we in the pronuclear world should support his efforts there. It’s silly to cut off you nose to spite your face.

Garry said...

"Japan does it and France does it..." following the French and Japanese into accidents, secrecy and radioactive contamination of the countryside and waters. Not exactly nuclear industry roll models to be followed.

D Kosloff said...


Yes, you are correct, we already do it better. By the way, who put the radioactive contamination in Kerala Province, India; Ramsur, Iran and the black sands of Brazil?

perdajz said...

Obama seems to be equivocating, as usual. He implies that there is now something wrong with nuclear power that we must correct before it can reach it's potential. That's not true.

We don't need any engineering lessons from the French or Japanese. We created this technology and we run our plants just fine by any measure. On a relative basis, as a percentage of total, these countries produce more nuclear power. But on an absolute basis, the US is still the world's leader in nuclear power.

The lesson from the French is that once the political will is there, nuclear power can displace fossil fuels for the production of electricity. This was obvious long ago, but it bears repeating.

tmarks11 said...

Japan has 64 nuclear power plants.
France has 59 nuclear power plants.
We only have 104 nuclear power plants.

Seems like we are already "employing nuclear energy in a safe and effective way", even more then "Japan and France" does.

While it is nice that he categorically states that Nuclear power can be employed safely, it is kind of a punch in the gut to the existing power companies to imply that they are not "safe and effective".

DocForesight said...

@Chad - at least you could say Sanford was close, he was drilling in Argentina!

When political leaders are not well-versed with a topic, they tend to resort to "waffle" words. In this case, "safety issues" and "waste", which imply there is an unsolvable problem that must be dealt with before the next step in construction can take place.

We know that is a false issue, as is proliferation, uranium resources, etc. What would be refreshing would be DoE Sec. Chu holding a press conference dealing with these questions and being unequivocal about the answers.

Garry said...

Yes Mr./Ms. D. Koslof, it is true, we do it better and we must be truthful. We also contaminate, example: From EPA superfund site...
Threats and Contaminants,
Contamination at Mound consists of radionuclide contamination in soil, primarily plutonium-238, thorium-232, and tritium, and volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in the Buried Valley Aquifer, a sole source drinking water aquifer."

There are many radioactive contamination sites around our great nation that must be cleaned up. To continue with nuclear power projects without adequately addressing nuclear waste and its immediate cleanup around our nation is stupid of the Congress,
Obama Administration's DOE, NRC and the nuclear industry in general.

Folks the waste, and previous rad-dumping problem ain't going to go away, it is growing and growing! Propaganda will not change the facts of many radioactive disasters around our nation in the making.

Not to mention the current environmental disasters mentioned at "Radtown," How quaint, is that EPA's "Farmtown" with a glow? Almost humor if it were not for the extreme seriousness of the matter.

Brian Mays said...

Garry - You're talking nonsense.

If you want to bring up Superfund sites, I should point out that the highest concentration of Superfund sites in the US is the area surrounding Silicon Valley, sites that are largely the result of the computer chip industry and are full of chemicals that are as least as dangerous (toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic), if not more so, than the stuff that you mention.

Now, by your logic, I suppose that we should all give up using computers. So if you want to stick by your logic then I have only two words for you: you first.

tmarks11 said...

The mound site was never a commercial nuclear power plant or involved with the commercial nuclear power industry. It was a government nuclear weapons research lab, and was not subject to the same oversight and regulation as commercial nuclear facilities.

Arguing that this site is an example of what is wrong with the nuclear commercial power industry is a deliberate attempt to obscure the true issues.

nehana said...

Nice job tmarks11 and Brian Mays.

One way to illustrate the absurdity of some antinuclear arguments is to apply them in an analogous fashion to other industries or lines of work. I'll add another example.

Per Garry's logic, we shouldn't build pharmaceutical plants because (1) there are chemical weapons storage sites still in operation, and (2) a facility to produce chemical weapons can look very much a plant that produces common drugs, like aspirin.

An argument like this to stop the construction of pharmaceutical plants is absurd, of course. But replace chemical with nuclear, and pharmaceuticals with electricity, and you have Garry's argument against nuclear power.

perdajz said...

That last comment was mine. I made a mistake entering the word verification.

bruce said...

If we have a Democratic president who says he wants reprocessing and supports nuclear power as a clean source of energy, we in the pronuclear world should support his efforts there. It’s silly to cut off you nose to spite your face.

Where did Obama say he was in favor of re-processing?? His administration shut down the EPA reprocessing review.

If you are right about reprocessing that would be very disturbing but from what I can tell there is a certain amount of delusion here as to Obama being pro nuclear. Hopefully this is another case of that.