Friday, December 11, 2015

Thumbs Up for New Nuclear in Wisconsin

Still some steps left legislatively, but this is a big one:

A Wisconsin Assembly committee has given its unanimous endorsement to ending the state's 32-year-old moratorium on new nuclear power plants.
Why strike it down now?
Those who favor ending the ban say it's no longer needed due to the quality of today's reactors. They also say clean nuclear power would help the state meet a proposed federal rule to lower carbon emissions.
If we were being querulous, we’d say there’s nothing  particularly awful about the current crop of reactors (including Wisconsin’s Kewaunee, which shuttered over market issues), but whatever. Good news is good news.

We’ll keep an eye on this one.
Speaking of Kewaunee, the New York Times has an article about the impact of its closing on the local community. It’s very sad.
“I thought it would be there forever,” Mr. [Kenneth] Krofta said as he stood in his yard, which is dotted with purple wildflowers and Queen Anne’s lace. “They’ve been a very good neighbor. I wish it could have stayed open. Closing it down didn’t do any good.”

If Wisconsin allows new nuclear build, let’s hope the  electricity marketplace recognizes the full value of a new facility – not only as an emission-free electricity powerhouse, but as an economic powerhouse for the state and its people. This article doesn’t talk about that, but hopefully, the folks in Madison are.


jimwg said...

Most likely they did this more as a shallow feel-good PC public progress action than real since they know that the popularity and demand for nuclear power in the U.S. is in the toilet and none are likely going to see daylight outside the drawing board in our lifetimes.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

jim said...

Very good and in ways touchingly sober article towards the end.

But is this REALLY an open-minded shift "thumbs up"?

One of my fave movies which I saw at its NYC premier is "Marooned," and one of the major points that went off the radar to many viewers is that the one-man Russian spacecraft suddenly turns up unannounced near the end to offer O2 to the two nearly oxygen deprived U.S. astronauts in a busted spacecraft -- even though the Russian had already been in orbit for a while -- and more pointedly arrives AFTER the U.S.'s rescue spacecraft is on the way. It took a long while for it to sink in that the lone cosmonaut was NOT about to trek over and "help" three astronauts whom he really couldn't save and kept mum about doing anything till it was clear the U.S. rescue craft was on the way. Wisconsin's sudden soft heart towards nuclear feels just like that cosmonaut, suddenly cheerleading for more nuclear knowing that no rescue -- no reactors being built -- is in sight.

James Greenidge
Queens NY