Skip to main content

Iowa – Nevada - Brunei

brunei-darussalam The Des Moines Register sees the nuclear energy facilities over in Nebraska surrounded by flood water and that people are fretting about them:

People worry because just the phrase "nuclear power plant" conjures thoughts of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. People worry because the world is still watching as Japan deals with the Fukushima nuclear power plant from both a human health and economic perspective.

Iowans worry because the Nebraska plants are separated from us by only a river rather than the Pacific Ocean.

Actually, I’d be surprised if people needed to project back 25 or more years to find fear buttons to push. Any such button, fairly or not, is now labeled Fukushima. (And remember: not downplaying the seriousness of the accident, of course, but the health and economic issues resulting from the earthquake and tsunami were fantastically large.)

Yet the public's concern should not be irrational or used to feed an anti-nuclear energy agenda or imply that the U.S. government is lying to Americans.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what is happening online where anything goes and supposed reporters aren't held accountable for blatant misinformation.

Just so. The editorial board reaches to Pakistan for its example, but it needn’t have gone so far afield. Nuclear energy facilities will live in a world for awhile where Fukushima informs everything – and while the floods in Nebraska are not comparable in kind to the tsunami in Japan, both involve water and that’s enough. Fearing a similar result is a natural response for some and it doesn’t have to be particularly rational. And rumor mongering to enflame those fears is – well – what some people like to do.

Still:

We cannot allow fears about nuclear energy -- unfounded fears, as of now in Nebraska -- [to] scare us away from this important power source.

There can be countervailing voices. That’s the service being provided by the Register.

---

The Las Vegas Sun is a reliable opponent of the Yucca Mountain used fuel repository and enjoys any opportunity to say so. That’s fine – that’s its role if it wants it. But still, its glee over a court case regarding Yucca Mountain that was recently dismissed included this curious paragraph:

Instead of concentrating on litigation, the nuclear power industry and its friends in South Carolina and Washington [state, which brought the suit] should turn their attention to disposal alternatives being considered by the Obama administration’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. The commission, co-chaired by former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, is scheduled to issue its interim findings by the end of this month and final recommendations within the following six months.

Why curious? Because the alternative could, after all, involve Nevada. Good to know the Sun favors an alternative approach in Nevada if it is different than Yucca Mountain.

---

Occasionally, we run into stories that promise to be about something, but turn out to be more of a tease. In this case, we were looking for some international news and thought our old friend Brunei might have something cooking.

Nuclear power will be discussed by energy ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their counterparts outside the region at an annual meeting scheduled for September in Brunei, according to Brunei's energy minister, Yasmin Umar.

So the action here, if any, will be in September. Brunei has talked a bit about nuclear energy here and there but not much more. It sounds as though it will be a topic at the conference, but most likely the discussion will concern nuclear developments in southeast Asia following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

So we’ll keep Brunei back-of-mind for now.

In case you didn’t know. Brunei is two pieces of land occupying the northern part of the island of Borneo. Malaysia and Indonesia have other parts, with Malaysia bordering Brunei on three sides. Brunei has about 400,000 people and is a constitutional sultanate.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…