Skip to main content

Editorial Round-Up

Editorial boards around the country continue to ruminate about nuclear energy in this country in the wake of event in Japan.

From the Amarillo Globe-News:

But is this tragic event reason to throw the nuclear power strategy onto the trash heap? No.

Well, that’s direct. Part of the response is informed by industry around Amarillo:

The Panhandle of Texas has its share of natural gas and oil production and, thus, residents here are exposed to potential danger all the time.

Do we toss aside those energy sources because of accidents? Again, no.

So:

But it must be noted that the Fukushima plant that's been all but destroyed by Mother Nature is an old plant. Newer installations would have far superior technology to guard against the kind of disaster that's occurring in Japan.

I’m not sure that argument holds true. Fukushima and all older plants are held to the standards of the present day, but it’s all right. Newer plants have redundant safeguards that do aid in staving off nature’s fury. In all, an interesting approach. Amarillans clearly know the dangers of energy production, so they know equally what can happen and what’s necessary to maintain safety.

---

From mLive in Michigan:

As the U.S. continues to offer help, compassion and prayers to Japan, those questions should be confronted and addressed, with an eye toward keeping nuclear energy as one important component in a mix of power sources. Nuclear does not produce the emissions of other types of electricity generation, especially coal. The United States should sensibly manage the risks involved, but not back away from them.

Notably, a lot of editorial boards are just not backing away – I can’t confirm this, but I don’t believe off shore drilling received quite such a warm reception after the BP spill last year. If so, it is the emission free nature of nuclear energy that causes it to get a stronger second look. at which point its other strengths begin to weigh in more heavily.

---

I’ve been on the hunt for some more dire editorials, but they aren’t really crossing my radar. I thought I could find a sure thing over at the Guardian, but even it hesitates:

Nuclear power will doubtless remain part of a diverse portfolio of energy sources, but the solution to the problem of low-carbon power must ultimately lie in renewables. In the UK, that points to tidal and wave power, to which we are geographically well-suited, alongside carbon capture and storage technology. Britain is currently a leading centre for the innovation of these processes. Their successful development could create huge economic advantages in manufacturing and exports of the technology, alongside the strategic benefits of energy self-sufficiency.

Very Guardian-like, but also fairly dim on the prospect of flipping the switch on nuclear energy:

But around 13% of the world's electricity is produced by nuclear plants. It is unrealistic to expect that capacity to be dismantled or quickly replaced. The threat to human safety, while real, is not unfathomably vast, nor beyond management. Radiation is harmful, but not apocalyptically deadly. It was the Earth's crust, not a manmade power station that caused tragedy in Japan.

It’s like watching a conversation between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, isn’t it?

Comments

jimwg said…
It's not that rosy in the media world. A good offense is a good defense, and we haven't seen the public and political kickback of this incident yet! It behooves the nuclear industry and projects on a whole to EDUCATE the public on what radiation is and can do and can't _now_ THEN how nuclear reactors work. Balm the fear first -- steps which Japan should've taken like yesterday! If the Japanese can accept more nuclear energy after this then the positives are high on it surviving here. That's why the nuclear industy needs to put a Carl Sagan out there who can relate to and explain these issues to the grass roots!

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…