Skip to main content

Nuclear Energy Is a Key Part of the Act

Think energy diversity
Now, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out nuclear energy’s shortcomings, but AA Clearinghouse (a group, not a single person) on Storify really goes the extra mile. It kicks things off by noting that President Richard Nixon wanted 1000 nuclear units by the turn of the century. That shows nothing except that Nixon was an enthusiastic booster. He wasn't the first and certainly wouldn't be the last.  

Otherwise, the article is just a half-baked attack.
The Nuclear Industry claimed that it could solve the Climate Change issue and cost less than other sources of electricity. Yet the price of new reactors went through the ceiling - besides taking 10-15 years to complete. 
Two sentences, almost all wrong. 

Consider:
  1. The nuclear energy industry never said it could solve the climate change issue - maybe some Nixon-like enthusiasm here and there. Nuclear energy is emission free and produces lots of electricity in a relatively compact space. Hydro is constant, emission-free, but a bit inhibited by the reluctance to build new dams. Solar and wind are less constant - they cannot run all the time - but when they do run, they add emission-free electricity to the grid. The phrase to describe this is energy diversity. Nuclear has its value, renewables have their value and so on.
  2. The price of a new reactor is certainly high, the cost of running them very low, and people just keep on building them. There are five in progress in the U.S., 25 in China (some U.S. sourced), and a bunch of countries are angling for their first facility – UAE is only the first. Most of these are or will be built and ready to go in three to five years. 

Multiply those two sentences a few times and that's the article. I suspect the Clearinghouse knows all this and also knows why people keep throwing together nuclear facilities. From another of the group's articles on the site:
The global impacts to human health will continue to grow well into the future with most of the burden falling on the poorest in the world. From the loss of agriculture due to heat, desertification and extreme weather events, the many vectors causing disease are ominous and rapidly growing in size.
 Just so, AA.

The growing number of extreme weather events and the economic fallout from them is well documented. The failure to act could be civilization's worst decision ever.
But civilization is acting. Nuclear energy is a key part of the act. Think energy diversity, AA, and it makes a lot of sense.

     

Comments

Engineer-Poet said…
Bloomberg New Energy Finance put together a report on the future of electric power.  The executive summary stated that renewables would be 2/3 of the $12.2 trillion of investment (p. 4), but CO2 emissions from the power sector will rise 13% by 2040 (p. 5).

A push to nuclear is not guaranteed to work, certainly, but a push for "renewables" is guaranteed NOT to work.
JRT said…
I think that this post on Storify violates their terms of service since it was posted to benefit a third party. I believe that the antinuclear movement is an organized third party. We suspect that they receive sub rosa monetary support from the fossil fuel industry.

Therefore, this story should be reported as abuse, especially considering the fact that it did not permit 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…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…