Friday, November 22, 2013

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.

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