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  • Obama Pulls Back on Nuclear

    A few days after Senator Barack Obama welcomed the idea of building new commercial nuclear reactors in the United States, he criticized Senator John McCain for proposing to build 45 new reactors by 2030 without a solution for nuclear waste. Speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada he disparaged McCain for offshore drilling as well:

    Meanwhile, the oil companies already own drilling rights to 68 million acres of federal lands, onshore and offshore, that they haven’t touched. 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America’s total oil production, and John McCain wants to give them more. Well that might make sense in Washington, but it doesn’t make sense for America. In fact, it makes about as much sense as his proposal to build 45 new nuclear reactors without a plan to store the waste some place other than right here at Yucca Mountain. Folks, these are not serious energy policies.”

    Playing into the hands of the Las Vegas elite, Obama used the geologic repository Yucca Mountain as a scare tactic. Yet, he neglected to mention that the majority Nye County, the home of Yucca Mountain, is in favor of building Yucca for the jobs and economic stimulation it could bring to the county.

    Regardless, Yucca Mountain, as critical as it is to the management of used nuclear fuel, is not a alone long-term solution. The amount of used nuclear fuel already accumulated in this country is near the 70,000 ton statutory limit. Furthermore, if nuclear power production increased by 1.8 percent annually after 2010, a 120,000-ton (what most scientists believe its actual capacity is) Yucca would be full by 2030. Fortunately, The Heritage Foundation’s Jack Spencer outlined a free-market approach to managing used nuclear fuel that included these critical implementations:

    • Create the legal framework that allows the private sector to price geologic storage as a commodity;
    • Empower the private sector to manage used fuel;
    • Repeal the 70,000-ton limitation on the Yucca Mountain repository and instead let technology, science, and physical capacity determine the appropriate limit;
    • Create a private entity that is representative of but independent from nuclear operators to manage Yucca Mountain;
    • Repeal the mil, abolish the Nuclear Waste Fund, and transfer the remaining funds to a private entity to cover the expenses of constructing Yucca Mountain; and
    • Limit the federal government’s role to providing oversight, basic research, and development and taking title of spent fuel upon repository decom¬missioning.

    Overhauling the nation’s nuclear-waste manage­ment regime will not be easy. It will require a significant amendment of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and a long-term commitment by Congress, the Administration, and industry. But developing such a system would put the United States well on its way to re-establishing itself as a global leader in nuclear energy.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Obama Pulls Back on Nuclear

    1. Donald in Raleigh, N says:

      Forget it! The United States a Global Leader? You've got to be kidding. We can't have this. It would make the rest of the world and especially the Muslim world angry at us.

    2. Donald in Raleigh, N says:

      Reference my last: Not to mention much of the home grown, intellectual Left.

    3. Kevin, Denver says:

      The "intellectual Left's" energy policy can be summed up in two words: "Forget it." For all the criticism of anything proposed in the past year by somebody who's not a member of the "intellectual Left," I've seen NOTHING that even masquerades as a real solution from anyone on that side. Not a single time. The closest the "Left" – deliberately more inclusive to include the not-so-intellectual – has come to proposing an energy policy is alternative fuels including: wind turbines (that get rejected by Senator Kennedy – is he part of the "intellectual" or "not-so-intellectual"???); solar (that produces a toxic waste stream from production/manufacture that makes one's hair stand on end); and hybrids (which at best is part of the solution, but a far cry from a viable, workable, meaningful, long-term energy plan). I'm quite critical of Bush for only attacking the demand side of the fossil fuels market; I'm even more critical of the Left for offering nothing more than empty words on an issue so vital to this country. More of putting politics ahead of the country's best interests.

    4. PacificGatePost says:

      OBAMA’S ARTISTRY OF THE AMBIGUOUS – It is not his lack of experience that will work against him.

      Obama would be well served by his hired help if it could move him to specifics on numerous critical fronts.

      Voters are looking for definitive action while they battle overwhelming increases in costs on all fronts.


    5. MrC, Do.Dak. says:

      Mr Obama wants to put the NUCLEAR material in the hands of the private sector? Don't we have enough problems with control of the personnel involved? I can just see Osama and Obama at a lunch social.

    6. Pingback: Morning Bell: Where Does the Left Expect Our Energy to Come From? | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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