Skip to main content

In the Interest of Uranium Miners

Of course, the increased interest in nuclear energy excites attention in parts of the United States where mining represents a substantial share of the local economy. An editorial in The Mountain Mail ("The Voice of Salida and the Upper Arkansas Valley" - Salida is in southern Colorado) supports nuclear energy from exactly this viewpoint:

In southern Utah, uranium mining firms are quietly pursuing mining claims on federal lands.


Just west of Marshall Pass in Saguache County, a Seattle company took control of mineral rights near the former Pitch uranium mine, which operated in the early 1980s but closed shortly thereafter.

The stone of the nuclear renaissance produces interesting ripples.

On a different note, the editorial notes that the Democratic presidential candidates (and Nader, of course) have downplayed nuclear energy and comes close to taunting them for it.

The candidates would rather promise increased ethanol production as a means of reducing reliance on foreign oil. They fail to mention the subsequent increases in costs for everything from bread to milk and hamburger - which Americans are already seeing at grocery stores.


It's all more good news, of course, if you're Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. Among other oil exporting countries, they no doubt are laughing on their way to their banks.

The language here is troubling, especially the talk radio tactic of creating demons to personalize an argument, but it's an interesting change in rhetoric. The quiet defense of nuclear energy found in most editorials and op-eds contends here with muscular, even aggressive, language. Depending on one's perspective, this approach either broadens the discussion beyond establishing the bona fides of nuclear energy or bypasses logical argument in favor of a visceral response.

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 …