Skip to main content

Around Burke County and in Waynesboro

WaynesboroA little early for editorials on the Plant Vogtle loan guarantees. We took a look at Plant Vogtle’s local newspaper, The Waynesboro True Citizen, to see if it had weighed in and found this story:

Burke County residents celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by giving back to the community. … Rather than taking the day [MLK Day] off, members of Citizens of Georgia Power – Plant Vogtle Chapter, along with their spouses and children, participated in “A Day of Service” by teaming up with the Magnolia Acres Community Empowerment Committee to beautify the grounds in the neighborhood. … “This project wasn’t just about us coming out to do landscaping,” Citizens of Georgia Power member Katrina Bivins said. “We chose this because it gives us an opportunity to mentor these kids while doing the work.”

This is very typical small town newspaper stuff – I wrote a fair amount of it for a different Georgia paper years ago - still, it’s a reminder that Vogtle is a major employer in the area. But it’s more than just a supplier (and supporter) of generous employees.

SECLUDED COUNTRY LIVING- At its finest. Three bedroom, two bath brick home on 5.45 acres. Additional acreage available. Hot tub, large workshop, storage galore. Convenient to Vogtle and new Starbucks plant. $219,000.

Along with Starbucks, Vogtle brings a good deal of economic activity to Burke County - people have to live somewhere. And as you can see, the living is less expensive where Vogtle is – which is true of many nuclear facilities. It’s a property tax bonanza for a town the size of Waynesboro (pop. 5567), and for surrounding Burke County (pop. 23,000 and change), too. Plus, you get a hot tub.

---

How about we watch the anti-nuclear crowd suffer a little:

Katherine Fuchs, a critic of federal loan guarantees and the nuclear subsidies campaigner for environmental group Friends of the Earth, said the loan obligates taxpayers to invest in nuclear energy in the event of a default.

“Taxpayers cannot afford to waste money on false solutions like Vogtle,” she said. “Instead, we need to be investing in real solutions like wind, solar and energy efficiency.”

I like that term “false solution” – it has the ring of Soviet self-criticism. “Nuclear energy does most of what we want it to do, but in the name of correct energy thinking, it is a false solution.” Loaded yet meaningless. More:

Critics of the loan guarantees have seized on the program's delays as evidence that it is misguided. Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist in the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, noted that the cost of nuclear energy has climbed over the years to as much as $9 billion per reactor, according to UCS, while the cost of natural gas, solar and wind power is dropping. "Put simply, nuclear power has been priced out of the market," said Lyman in a statement.

Which is why Georgia Power is considering more nuclear reactors, right?

“Given our experience and our commitment to safe, reliable, clean and affordable energy, it should not be a surprise to anybody in the future to see Georgia Power start a process to preserve an option for another set of plants,” [Steve Kuczynski, the company’s chairman, president and CEO] said. “We feel nuclear has a strong role in meeting that objective. Beginning initial groundwork would allow us to preserve that option.”

Schadenfreude aside, pfft!

Comments

Engineer-Poet said…
"I like that term “false solution” – it has the ring of Soviet self-criticism. “Nuclear energy does most of what we want it to do, but in the name of correct energy thinking, it is a false solution.” Loaded yet meaningless."

The anti crowd has a heap of those catch-phrases (shibboleths, really) engraved in their language and repeated on cue.  We really need to start hitting back at them, expose just how silly they really are.

Nuclear won the technical war decades ago, but lost the culture war... mostly for failure to fight.  We need to fix that error.

Popular posts from this blog

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?

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…

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…