Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Browner, Korea and the Chamber

Carol Browner arms folded Carol Browner, President Obama’s energy and climate advisor, said some nice things about nuclear energy:

"We have not built a nuclear plant in this country in a long time but we want to work with the industry to make that happen in the not too distant future," Browner said in a live chat on the White House website.

"We have been working with the nuclear industry to understand exactly what it is they need."

This adds Browner to the list of relevant administration figures to endorse nuclear energy (Chu, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, Obama himself), so we’ll take it.

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We were interested to see South Korea make a plant sale to UAE – the country had not seemed a major competitor before then – but the sale has unleashed ambition.

South Korea is aiming to grab at least 20 percent of the global market for nuclear reactors in the next 20 years, the government announced Wednesday.

A lot of ambition.

[Kim Young-hak, vice minister for Knowledge Economy] said by 2030, South Korea should join the United States and France as one of the world's leading builders of nuclear reactors.

The country aims to export 80 nuclear reactors by 2030, he said.

What can we say? Welcome, South Korea.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce always has the option of staying neutral on a topic when its membership lacks consensus, but has lately taken on some hot topics, notably health care reform. However, we think the chamber has picked just about the right moment for this one, in a story about its 2010 plan:

On energy, [Chamber President and CEO Thomas] Donohue said nuclear power needs to be part of the nation's energy-producing mix. He said he has spoken to many in the environmental movement and senses a thaw in their longtime opposition to nuclear plants, which produce much lower emissions than coal-fired power plants.

We think Donohue has this about right in every aspect, and the Chamber in general has always seen nuclear energy in, shall we say, an enlightened way. So no complaint – maybe any of the chamber’s members who have issues with nuclear energy, will explore the topic more thoroughly.

Correx: We’re sure South Korea would love to sell a plant to India, but the sale was actually to UAE. Corrected. Thanks to reader E. Michael Blake for the catch.

Carol Browner wants you to know.

5 comments:

Georg said...

Im trying to find a contact on your blog but I cant. this is totally of topic but my only way to make contact.

In the autumn I have been working together on a project with KSU (nuclear safety and education) which aims to make YouTube videos of their brochures, first out is "ionizing radiation". Swedes target audience is between 13 to 35. The goal with movies is to spread knowledge about the subject in a simple, flexible format that is easy to absorb.

We are so happy with the result that we now want to get them to the public, in my search for pages that would fit, I turned on your. I thought it might fit.

anyway. This is the result http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DE82FF9404E57FF3 Swedish version

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2F32241381ECC3E7 English version

Best wishes, George
If you wish to contact me georg(at)kollektivetlivet.se

Anonymous said...

As much as I would like to believe Ms. Browner, and Mr. Obama, and Ms. Jackson (I do believe Dr. Chu), I'm going to maintain my comfortable paranoid mistrust until a new reactor actually goes critical and contacts the grid. It would be easy for Obama et al. to talk big about nuclear power while ordering proxies on Capitol Hill to kill it.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting anonymously, but I identify myself below. First, where you refer to a contract between South Korea and India, I think you mean that it's between South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Second, the unidentified anonymous poster might not be satisfied under the best of circumstances, because none of the proposed new reactors are expected to start up until 2016 or later, and even with two terms Obama would leave office in January 2017.

--E. Michael Blake

SteveK9 said...

The chamber would sound more convincing if they weren't in the camp of climate-change deniers. That has caused them some grief with a range of large industrial companies, who withdrew from the chamber over the issue.

It's nice to argue for nuclear power from a logical perspective, but you need to be consistent.

DocForesight said...

"in the not too distant future" -

This reminds me of my attitude towards commitment with females gaining my attention and affection 20-30 years ago. I would approach my trust in the sentiment now expressed by this administration with the same "prove it" approach that I received from the objects of my interest then.

Considering the rhetorical emphasis placed on wind, solar, geothermal and "renewables" that dominates this administration, I would keep my powder dry. Sorry for the mixed metaphors but didn't want to follow the train of thought in paragraph 1.