Skip to main content

Nuclear Bloggers Interview NRC Commissioner Dale Klein

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.

Great interviews!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

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?

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…