The headline blares “Indiana fears future of nearby nukes,” then fails to find anyone in Indiana fearing those nearby nukes.
There’s an anti-nuclear advocate:
"They have no idea exactly what it's going to cost, how they will operate or respond," said Kerwin Olson, program director for the Citizens Action Coalition in Indianapolis. "What this bill does is says any and all costs of extending Cook beyond 40 years can be passed on to consumers."
The subject of the story (and this quote) is pending legislation in Michigan implementing a variation of CWIP, Construction Work in Progress, which allows utilities to collect a fee from ratepayers while a new plant is under construction rather than after the plant is operational. In this instance, the fee will help extend the life of the Cook plant in Michigan (it sends electricity to Indiana.) But I don’t detect fear here – annoyance, maybe, no fear.
(To be honest, I’m not sure why a surcharge would be used for this purpose, but let’s set that aside for now.)
There’s the spokesman for Cook:
David Mayne, spokesman for Indiana Michigan Power, said Cook has a long history of safety and plans to continue that into the future.
"The Cook plant has an outstanding safety record and is recognized in the industry as having the highest standards of operational excellence," Mayne said. "Both units at Cook are operating safely and reliably today and our commitment to safe operations remains steadfast."
No fear here, obviously.
In some quarters of the media, if it’s about nuclear, it’s about fear. But really: no fear.
At the Hill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) celebrates Earth Day:
It is likely that one in five of you reading this online right now is doing it on a computer powered by nuclear energy. There are more than 100 reactors in 31 states supplying about 20 percent of our nation’s electricity. Unfortunately that number hasn’t changed much since go-go boots and bell bottoms were all the rage.
His message is simple and germane:
On this Earth Day we need to commit to making nuclear power a larger part of our nation’s clean energy future.
I have supported nuclear power since I was elected in 1984. The industry has faced many challenges since then and even though no new reactors have been built in the United States during that time, safety has continued to improve at those facilities already in existence.
And addresses safety concerns:
The safety record at nuclear plants in the United States is impeccable and the systems that keep it that way are much more robust than those in Japan. The safety systems at reactors are redundant and automatic, meaning they don’t need to be activated by people or have backup generators to operate. Plus, each reactor in this nation is subject to aggressive oversight and thorough inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
There’s a lot more. Barton makes a solid case.
The Cook nuclear plant. I’ve always thought Cook was one of the better designed power stations – maybe because it actually looks designed to fit its locale rather than as another hulking metal beast on the shoreline.