Skip to main content

Relying on Nuclear Energy to Keep the Lights Working

The nuclear energy situation in Great Britain has been full of drama, with Spanish and German interests dropping in and out of the mix and the government’s will to even build a new reactor brought into question.

But, really, the most notable thing about the virtually daily drumbeat of news was that there was a drumbeat of news – to me, that meant the issue wasn’t going to expire until a solution was reached one way or another.

Meet the solution:

Energy giant EDF was today given permission to construct a new nuclear facility at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
The announcement was seen as a huge boost to the industry which ministers are relying on to keep the lights working.
EDF said the plant’s two nuclear reactors would be capable of producing seven per cent of the UK’s electricity, enough to power five million homes.

“Relying on to keep the lights working.” To quote Orson Welles from a notorious Paul Masson ad, Ahhhh the French. EDF just got knocked back by the NRC on building a new reactor at Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs because of foreign ownership rules, so this might seem just, if only partial, compensation.

And:

The project will create as many as 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent positions once in operation.

Mostly British, I assume. Might wish the jobs were in Maryland, but why be churlish? It’s all good.

---

Another bit of good international news, though I admit it’s a bit puzzling:

A new study suggests there is overwhelming public support for the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

Global research consultancy TNS has announced the results of its study regarding support for nuclear energy in the UAE — with 82 per cent of respondents in favor. That figure is up from 66 per cent a year ago.

There’s nothing suspicious about this poll – TNS is very reputable – but I wonder about the views of UAE people – or rather, who counted as UAE people in this poll. Here is the CIA’s reckoning of the population:

Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)

note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)

So less than 20 percent are citizens and 19 percent are Emirati – that’s a pretty firm correlation. The reason for this:

It is incredibly difficult to obtain UAE citizenship; it is usually only granted if you are married to a citizen for at least 10 years or if your father had citizenship.

So UAE is not primarily a country of citizens, it is a land of visitors. The four reactors at Barakah will benefit all of them, of course, and I think we can assume that those not invested one way or another into the UAE’s energy choices will be diffident in their views. Eighty percent is 80 percent, whoever TNS talked to, but it must be a curious place to poll.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…

Hurricane Harvey Couldn't Stop the South Texas Project

As Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas over the past week, the devastation and loss of life in its wake have kept our attention and been a cause of grief.

Through the tragedy, many stories of heroics and sacrifice have emerged. Among those who have sacrificed are nearly 250 workers who have been hunkered down at the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear plant in Matagorda County, Texas.

STP’s priorities were always the safety of their employees and the communities they serve. We are proud that STP continued to operate at full power throughout the storm. It is a true testament to the reliability and resiliency of not only the operators but of our industry.

The world is starting to notice what a feat it is to have maintained operations through the catastrophic event. Forbes’ Rod Adams did an excellent job describing the contribution of these men and women:

“STP storm crew members deserve to be proud of the work that they are doing. Their families should take comfort in the fact that…

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…