Skip to main content

Mom and Pop Ponder Nuclear Energy

We admit that we’ve read a lot of interesting approaches to supporting (and not supporting) nuclear energy, but this piece by Neil Russo in the Weymouth (Mass.) News is certainly unique. Here’s how he starts out:
Here's the vanilla loaf cake from Eb, Mom, he put walnuts in it because he knows how much you like walnuts. Put the kettle on and let's indulge. I want to take a few moments to relax. My head is spinning from listening to Eb.
The cost of getting that cake from Eb is listening to him talk about nuclear energy. Pop tell Mom all he’s learned:
Pop: At today's usage rates for energy, we have proven reserves of oil for 42 years, natural gas for 57 years, uranium for 85 years, and coal for 137 years, though exploration turns up new supplies all the time.
Mom’s conclusion?
With 53 new plants under construction worldwide, mostly in Asia, it's time for the U.S. government to come up with an energy policy that has nuclear as its base, or we are going to be left behind the rest of the world - especially emerging Asia. A new plant has not been built in the U.S. in 30 years!
We wish Russo had stuck to his conceit – a lot more about that delicious cake would not have gone wrong – and the article feels like a data dump of all Russo has learned than a dialogue. Real people tend to think more in terms of metaphor, which this approach would allow and would give it more point. Still, credit to Russo for looking for an interesting angle; Russo himself is clearly working his way through a lot of complex material and that can only be appreciated.
Some not very surprising news:
A group of U.S. businesses is postponing a trip to the United Arab Emirates to discuss lucrative nuclear-reactor contracts with a company backed by an influential emirate in the federation.
The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S.-U.A.E Business Council said Monday the planned trade mission will probably take place in late January or early February instead of December. The U.A.E. has delayed picking a primary contractor for the project, but "it's not a financial issue--they're just being extremely meticulous and careful in their review of the final bids," said Danny Sebright, the president of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.
We wouldn’t like to be Sebright at this particular moment in time – because he has to tread between several (at best) ambiguous situations. We’ll check back in later and see whether the Chamber’s trip happens early next year. (Right now, the UAE looks to be eyeing a plant design from South Korea, which may weigh in on American plans.)
Here’s a very nice video from Entergy touting the uprate to its Grand Gulf (Mississippi) station. Our unidentified host takes a folksy approach to explaining how the plant benefits customers, the environment and the local economy. Speaking to customers sometimes equates to speaking down to them, but Entergy does not step wrong here. Very nicely done. (And be sure to visit the NEI Network at YouTube. We collect all the nuclear-related videos we can find there.)


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

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.


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…