During the hearing, each of the nominees gave a statement and was questioned by the committee members about their suitability for the role. Each nominee said that they backed TVA's use of nuclear energy.You can read all the quotes - and who said them - at the links but here's a taster:
"In the short run, additional generation needs to come almost surely from new nuclear."
"I am pro-nuclear and I do think it needs to be part of the solution."
To support economic growth, I think we have to have low-cost power, and that additional power may have to be through nuclear."
"We've got some old dirty coal plants and, even if we were to miss the call for increased demand, I think nuclear must be part of our solution."
And that's a clean sweep of the four candidates - TVA has a nine member board.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a depression-era creation. The article describes it this way:
TVA was set up by the US Congress in 1933, primarily to reduce flood damage, improve navigation on the Tennessee River, provide electric power, and promote "agricultural and industrial development" in the region. Today, TVA is a federal corporation and the country's largest public power company, supplying the electricity needs of about nine million people.That's about right. We'd only add that there were meant to be other "valley authorities," but Congress back then balked, so TVA is unique as a federal entity.
To the credit of Environment and Public Works committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), these candidates were heard on Tuesday before Washington was snowed under (again!) that night and into Wednesday - they were scheduled for today, which wouldn't have happened. The Tennesseans are probably stuck in town for a bit, but at least they can watch cable TV and swim in the hotel pool now that they've got their hearings out of the way. Not a good time for sightseeing.
And how did the NRC Commission hearings go? No problems for the candidates that we could pick up. More on this later, but we thought you'd find this exchange interesting (our transcript):
Boxer: I have a question here for all three of you from Sen. [Harry] Reid (D-Nevada) and you could just answer it yes or no: If confirmed, would you second guess the Department of Energy's decision to wirthdraw the license application for Yucca Mountain from NRC's review?
William Ostendorff: No
Boxer: Good. Anyone else?
William Magwood: No
Gregory Apostolakis: No
Boxer: Thank you. I think he will very pleased with that.
We doubt NRC would second-guess this in any circumstance. Consider it a crossed "t."
From one of my favorite movies still not on DVD, Elia Kazan's Wild River (1961), about the early days of the TVA.