Skip to main content

Now is the Time to ‘Get Busy’ on Nuclear Resurgence, Sessions Says

“Time’s a wastin’ ” was the repeated message guest speaker Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) imparted to attendees at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Regulatory Information Conference last week.

In remarks aimed at Congress, federal agencies and the nuclear industry itself, Sessions—who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee—said the United States for too long has foregone pursuing nuclear energy as an important part of the answer to the growing need for a secure energy source to help meet the country’s growing energy needs while meeting clean air goals.

Sessions said he hopes we will one day look back at the restart of the Browns Ferry plant last year as the starting point of a nuclear resurgence. He noted that his state has five operating reactors with applications submitted for two more.

“It’s clear nuclear power ain’t dead yet, as we might say in Alabama,” Sessions said.

The lawmaker recounted the frustration he felt after touring the Bellefonte plant shortly after entering the Senate in 1997.

“That’s a $4 billion facility,” Sessions said. “It looks like you could walk into the control room and start it up. I couldn’t help but think how much CO2, mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide has been emitted because that never started up. It’s a great tragedy; and one that is replicated too often around the country.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wow I'm agreeing with what a politician said!

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 …