Skip to main content

Mom and Pop Ponder Nuclear Energy

We admit that we’ve read a lot of interesting approaches to supporting (and not supporting) nuclear energy, but this piece by Neil Russo in the Weymouth (Mass.) News is certainly unique. Here’s how he starts out:
Here's the vanilla loaf cake from Eb, Mom, he put walnuts in it because he knows how much you like walnuts. Put the kettle on and let's indulge. I want to take a few moments to relax. My head is spinning from listening to Eb.
The cost of getting that cake from Eb is listening to him talk about nuclear energy. Pop tell Mom all he’s learned:
Pop: At today's usage rates for energy, we have proven reserves of oil for 42 years, natural gas for 57 years, uranium for 85 years, and coal for 137 years, though exploration turns up new supplies all the time.
Mom’s conclusion?
With 53 new plants under construction worldwide, mostly in Asia, it's time for the U.S. government to come up with an energy policy that has nuclear as its base, or we are going to be left behind the rest of the world - especially emerging Asia. A new plant has not been built in the U.S. in 30 years!
We wish Russo had stuck to his conceit – a lot more about that delicious cake would not have gone wrong – and the article feels like a data dump of all Russo has learned than a dialogue. Real people tend to think more in terms of metaphor, which this approach would allow and would give it more point. Still, credit to Russo for looking for an interesting angle; Russo himself is clearly working his way through a lot of complex material and that can only be appreciated.
---
Some not very surprising news:
A group of U.S. businesses is postponing a trip to the United Arab Emirates to discuss lucrative nuclear-reactor contracts with a company backed by an influential emirate in the federation.
The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S.-U.A.E Business Council said Monday the planned trade mission will probably take place in late January or early February instead of December. The U.A.E. has delayed picking a primary contractor for the project, but "it's not a financial issue--they're just being extremely meticulous and careful in their review of the final bids," said Danny Sebright, the president of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.
We wouldn’t like to be Sebright at this particular moment in time – because he has to tread between several (at best) ambiguous situations. We’ll check back in later and see whether the Chamber’s trip happens early next year. (Right now, the UAE looks to be eyeing a plant design from South Korea, which may weigh in on American plans.)
---
Here’s a very nice video from Entergy touting the uprate to its Grand Gulf (Mississippi) station. Our unidentified host takes a folksy approach to explaining how the plant benefits customers, the environment and the local economy. Speaking to customers sometimes equates to speaking down to them, but Entergy does not step wrong here. Very nicely done. (And be sure to visit the NEI Network at YouTube. We collect all the nuclear-related videos we can find there.)


Comments

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…