Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Poll, Saudi Arabia, Pueblo

vinyl-banners-pueblo The Hill takes note:

A new poll commissioned by the nuclear industry shows that 71 percent of people in the United States support including nuclear power in the country’s energy portfolio.

And why shouldn't it? This is a survey conducted by Bisconti and Associates for NEI. We know: an industry poll. But Bisconti's methods are fully transparent and it's equally transparent that the findings are in line with other similar polls, though those polls tend to be more interested in a wide range of electricity suppliers rather than nuclear in particular. So consider this a look at nuclear in, er, its particulars.

And the poll doesn't ignore nuclear's cousins. A little more from the Hill's account:

At the same time, the poll shows broad public support for a proposal floated by Obama to get large amounts of the country’s electricity from low-carbon sources. The poll finds that 89 percent of Americans think, “We should take advantage of all low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear, hydro and renewable energy, to produce the electricity we need while limiting greenhouse gas emissions.”

See? What's interesting about this question - to me - is that it shows a tremendous number of respondents concerned with greenhouse gas emissions. I expect that would have gone down, but no. You can review the poll, its questions and a lot more here.

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The Saudis have made a pact:

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it signed an agreement with France for cooperation on the development of peaceful nuclear energy.

The agreement, the first nuclear accord signed by the kingdom, "allows Saudi experts to study the French technology options, their financial requirements and implications for developing qualified national human resources," according to an e-mailed joint statement.

The why here is not hard to understand.

Saudi Arabia currently uses 75 percent of its domestic oil for electricity production. According to its population growth trends, Saudi Arabia’s increased electricity demand will require an additional 5 million barrels of oil produced per day within 20 years. This means that the country—whose wealth is based primarily on crude oil exports—will lose its export capabilities within that 20-year window.

And that would be very bad for Saudi Arabia. My first reaction here is that nuclear energy isn't really a swap for oil (barring a big increase in electric cars) in most instances, but that's not true here, as Saudi Arabia generates about 65 percent of its electricity from oil. Natural gas is next at 25 percent.

What nuclear energy can do is put a lot of megawatts online very quickly or at least quickly enough to forestall this problem - and it's cleaner than oil or natural gas, forestalling a rather bigger problem. A multiple win for Saudi Arabia, though it'd be just about perfect if the U.S. were to find a way into that market.

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But what's good enough for Saudi Arabia is good enough for us, yes?

A proposed energy complex outside Pueblo that could include a nuclear power plant has cleared an early hurdle in the planning process.

The Pueblo County Planning Commission voted 5-3 on Tuesday to recommend the county change the zoning from agricultural to planned unit development on nearly 40 square miles, or 25,000 acres, in eastern Pueblo County.

It's just a step. As the article explains, this isn't binding on the county commissioner, so he will need to weigh in at some point. Smart step, though.

Say, isn’t Pueblo the place where all those government publications are housed? – I remember many commercials offering all kinds of brochures one could get by sending an envelope to Pueblo. And so it is, as the Federal Citizen Information Center, a branch of the General Services Administration, distributes its wares through the Government Printing Office’s press site, which is located there. Here’s the web site for the FCIC. It even has a blog, called GovGab.

1 comment:

T.R. said...

Thanks for the entry. I appreciate the NEI blog. I'm a long time reader with interest in the state of nuclear energy use. With regard to the Bisconti poll, you stated "I expect that would have gone down, but no."

I'm not sure why you would be puzzled. I could speculate but I'd rather you explain.