Skip to main content

Making the Case for Maine's Nuclear Power Council

Last week we pointed to a story about how Maine State Rep. Bob Walker was proposing legislation to create a state Nuclear Power Council. In today's edition of the Waldo County Citizen, Walker makes the case for his proposal in greater detail:
Why should Maine encourage the construction of nuclear energy plants? Demand for electricity will escalate as our population expands and energy-hungry manufacturing industries grow. We need cheaper energy if our economy is going to stay competitive here and abroad. Wind and solar power are important sources to be developed, but overall they cannot make more than minor contributions.

Energy conservation is fine, but we could never conserve enough to meet expected future demands.

Nuclear power also is environmentally friendly and critical to national security. Nuclear plants have zero emissions of greenhouses gases. Today, nuclear energy supplies 16 percent of the world’s electricity, avoiding the emission of 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year.

And imagine the benefits of freeing ourselves from dependence on oil from Middle East hotspots.

[...]

The process of licensing and building a new nuclear power plant averages nearly a decade. Nuclear power not only can supply lots of cheap energy that our economy desperately needs to compete, it can meet an ever-growing demand for power production with an environmentally friendly, emission-free method of energy production.

The continued growth in electricity demand and tightening reserve margins should not only frighten but provide an opportunity.

I believe the Legislature, as a deliberative body, instead of always being concerned with simply the present, needs to be forward-looking and acting on such important matters. I hope I can convince my colleagues of the need and importance of nuclear energy come January in Augusta.
For more on Walker, click here.

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…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …