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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nuclear making a comeback

Nuclear power, an industry that has been dormant since about the time I was born, is on the verge of a renaissance. This month's Fortune Magazine has an excellent feature on nuclear's resurgence here in the US, and travels to Nuclear sites across the country to report on perspectives from both the pro and anti nuke crowd.

Most of the 2008 candidates, along green individuals like myself, agree with the experts that in order to halt CO2 emissions Nuclear power is a necessary evil, if you want to call it that. John Edwards is one of the few candidates who went public with against nuclear power when he declared that " atomic energy had no future in America." Of course, Mr. Edwards also said we should ban construction of coal plants, so not only did he potentially kill his chances in the coal state primary races, he is banking on unrealistic advances in the technology and costs of renewable energy that will be necessary to meet our nation's growing energy demands.

I am from the camp that says as long as Mike Brown and FEMA are not in charge of regulating the industry, we will be safe. In all seriousness, as long as safety and storage regulations are tight I do not think building more nuclear plants is a bad thing. They do not emit CO2 gasses, they create jobs, and the plants provide a lot more power than their fossil fuel counterparts.

Unless clean coal technology is legit and worth the cost (some are saying the marginal reduction in CO2 is not worth the cost), we would have to replace coal fired plants with nuclear plants if we truly want to drastically cut back on our CO2 emissions. This is clearly a new subject area for me as I believe it is my first post on nuclear, and while it is not a green energy source, it is something we are going to have to live with if we care about slowing down climate change. Please read the Fortune article for the bigger picture.

3 comments:

EdHeath said...

Seems like the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the waste. Not only do we not yet have a set plan on how to deal with it, the suggestion with the most support to date, Yucca Mountain, seems to involve trains moving through heavily populated areas with little security. Don’t get me wrong, I think nuclear may be the way we have to go, but I think we need to admit we haven’t worked hard enough on coming to agreement where there are problems.

Schultz said...

Ed,

I agree - the Yucca Mountain storage plan doesn't seem to be well thought out. That is the issue holding most people back from this expansion, however, the global warming train has already left the station and without a large enough supply of green energy - solar, wind, or hydro, we really do not have other options besides nuclear if we want to get off the coal kick. I'm thinking the technology will be here sooner than the Yucca Mountain facility is ready. See related article:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/13992/

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira.(If you speak English can see the version in English of the Camiseta Personalizada. Thanks for the attention, bye). Até mais.

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