Skip to main content

More Nuclear Plants for Mississippi?

Several governors and senators from Southern states met this week at the Southern States Energy Board to discuss topics such as oil and gas development, nuclear energy legislation and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)  and Governor Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) were among the participants who led the conversation on nuclear energy issues.

10_5_2011_GovBarbourGov. Barbour voiced his support for building another nuclear energy plant in Mississippi.

Candidly, we’d love to have another nuclear power plant. … We don’t have, ‘Not in my backyard.’ We have, ‘Please in my backyard.’

Gov. Barbour’s support for nuclear energy is not unfounded, as Mississippi’s Grand Gulf 1 nuclear energy plant makes up more than 17 percent of the state’s total electricity generation and 100 percent of the state’s total emission-free electricity. The state relies heavily on natural gas (54 percent), which can cause steep fluctuations on electricity prices for the state’s residents. In addition, Mississippi’s geographic region and weather conditions do not necessarily lend themselves to renewable energy sources (a problem among some other Southern states as well), which makes the continued development of nuclear energy an attractive option.

Sen. Graham at the meeting called for increased support from environmentalists in Congress on developing nuclear energy policies. There are several key issues he believes need to be addressed. Platts reports:

Nuclear regulations should be “streamlined,” he [Sen. Graham] said, saying that it takes twice as long to license and build a nuclear plant in the U.S. than it does in France. Utilities investing in large nuclear projects need to ensure that a lawsuit does not hold them up in the final year of construction.

And continued:

In addition, municipal- and state-owned electricity cooperatives that participate in nuclear projects should be allowed to transfer the tax credits they would have received to for-profit utilities, he said. That would allow Santee Cooper, the electric company owned by South Carolina, to transfer production tax credits it would have received from its new nuclear projects to investor-owned Duke Energy, Graham said.

More on the Southern States Energy Board can be found on their website.

Photo of Gov. Barbour at the Southern States Energy Board on Oct. 4, 2011. Credits: George Altman, Washington Bureau

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …