John Wheeler, Margaret Harding, Dan Yurman, Meredith Angwin and Rod Adams had the great opportunity to interview Dr. Dale Klein who’s leaving the NRC after serving on the Commission for almost four years. The Commissioner shared a few thoughts on his legacy as well as the challenges the three new NRC commissioners face.
One of the most interesting question and comment dialogues was when Rod asked Dr. Klein about FERC Chairman Wellinghoff’s statements on baseload. For those who may not remember, the FERC Chairman stirred up the debate last year when he said that “baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism.” Here’s what Klein said in response:
“He [Wellinghoff] must have a database that’s much different than mine. I think we will have a need for baseload electrical generation for a long, long time. And the facts are the facts. There is no alternative in the near term for anything other than baseload, because for some reason people want electricity at night. They like to keep lights available, and their homes heated if they have electric heat. So I think baseload electrical generation from everything that I’ve studied, and I’ve spent my career in the energy business since the mid-70s, I don’t know how we can have an electrical generation system without baseload. The whole world has baseload systems. It’s not just the US.”
Dan Yurman also has more on Klein written by guest columnist Tamar Cerafici.