Skip to main content

Maybe Yes Maybe No for Nuclear Energy in Bolivia

Add another country to the growing list of those who know there’s something to this nuclear energy thing:

Bolivia is on track to develop a national nuclear power program for peaceful civilian purposes that include building electricity export capacity in the country, official media reported.

According to the UPI story, this has been percolating since last month, when Bolivian President Evo Morales reactivated a long-delayed nuclear energy program.

This has proven mildly controversial because Morales has had fractious relations with the United States – the countries booted out each other’s ambassadors in 2008 - though the relationship has improved in recent years.

Whether Bolivia can field a nuclear energy program is guesswork at this time. Bolivia is a relatively small country – with about 10.5 million in population – and poverty alleviation is a priority for the Morales government. While the country might be a prime candidate for clean-energy industrialization, there is a lot of stress on resources – the government recently tried to scale back on commodities subsidies but had to relent after protests.

And, of course, talking isn’t doing, which leads to reservations:

Morales told an energy conference in Tarija, southern Bolivia, in October the country has achieved conditions necessary to obtain nuclear power for "pacific ends," Los Tiempos reported. Morales did not elaborate, nor did he offer details when he announced Argentina and France would help Bolivia attain nuclear power generation capacity.

So, as always, we’ll see.

---

There’s nothing for us to say about the recently-activated nuclear option. But it has led to some great headlines:

Senate Goes for Nuclear Option

Senate Democrats Go Nuclear

Going Nuclear

Forced to Go Nuclear at Last

I’ve cheated on a few of these and, of course, some headline writers went for nuclear war analogies – fallout, launched, etc. But the overall consensus settled on “going nuclear.” And we have no problem with that at all. You say it’s all about the fili – what? Sometimes, ignorance can be bliss.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…