Skip to main content

Gov. Beshear and the Nuclear Imperative

20081120energy Interestingly, Kentucky's Governor Steve Beshear pursued an energy policy during his campaign but was notably silent about nuclear energy being a part of that policy - you can see his campaign manifesto on energy issues here. But, boy, when he comes around, he comes around big.

"We must begin the discussion now about whether nuclear energy should be a part of our energy portfolio," [Beshear] told reporters at a Capitol press conference.

The governor's energy plan comes at a time when utility companies are looking at Kentucky for potential nuclear power plant sites.

"Several companies have suggested that they would be interested in building nuclear plants in Kentucky," said Energy Secretary Len Peters.

Here is the governor's plan (warning: sizeable pdf). You'll see that there are seven strategies - presumably to keep things lucky - and the seventh strategy is "Examine the Use of Nuclear Power for Electricity Generation in Kentucky." Sounds good to us: let's see what he has in mind.

  • Legal hurdles to successful inclusion of nuclear power in Kentucky’s energy mix should be examined. Specifically, removal or revision of the legislative ban on new nuclear power plants must be addressed.
  • A public engagement plan should be implemented to gather and address stakeholder feedback and concerns and to provide education about nuclear power today.
  • Research should be conducted to assess the desirability of co-locating nuclear power plants with advanced coal conversion plants to assess the effects on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, providing ready access to electricity and/or steam, and possibly using waste heat for the coal conversion process.
  • Incentives that reduce the risk of capitalizing and financing a new power plant should be considered in developing these programs.
  • The EEC should work with the Community and Technical College System to ensure that trained personnel are available to staff the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.
  • The state universities should explore now the possibility of adding nuclear engineering, health physics, and radiological science programs to their curricula.

Make a note of it - that's a pretty good laundry list for getting ready for the nuclear tomorrow.

Obviously, the plan focuses on the state's commitment, but it could go deeper into industry's role. It seems a big hole not to include it, since a lot of what's proposed will be done in partnership. But in all, a good plan.

By all means, read the whole thing: nuclear is just one of seven proposals and the other six are well worth a rehearsal.

Gov. Beshear is the pointing one. Surprised?

Comments

Only a Kentucky Governor would want to use clean nuclear energy to help produce more dirty coal:-) Nuclear power plants need to be used to end the coal economy, not to help it!

Marcel
http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/
Red Craig said…
If you don't mind, I'd like to introduce a web page called The Case for Nuclear Energy.

This is a strictly non-commercial undertaking.

I've been debating the subject of nuclear energy on the internet for several years and this page displays the information I've found to be persuasive to the unpersuaded.

Any comments on ways to improve it will be welcome; please send them to robcra(you know what goes here)hotmail.com.

If you find the information useful, feel free to copy parts of it or link it.

NEI, thanks for your indulgence.
Neurovore said…
This is more of a national issue than within the juristiction of the state of Kentucky, but I also think that public tours of existing nuclear facilities should be reinstated. The ill-conceived ban on guided tours put forth by the Department of Homeland Security (Do not get me started on them) has done little to further the causes of public confidence and education surrounding nuclear power. It would be nice if there were talk of allowing public guided tours to resume once again.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…