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  • Accepting and Embracing Nuclear Power

    Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has a problem. His Labor Party government wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent from 2000 levels by 2050, but opposes building nuclear power plants– the one clean, abundant, and affordable energy source known to this planet. Ziggy Switkowski, head of the nation’s main nuclear research institute, says that will soon change:

    As more and more Australians get involved in the whole climate change debate, as they learn about what’s happening around the world where the uptake of nuclear power is increasing quite strongly, they’ll accept the attraction of nuclear power and over time embrace it.”

    Australia isn’t the only country. China, as evidenced by the pictures below, is quite literally laying the groundwork for a rapid expansion in nuclear power with 14 plants under construction and 10 more slated to begin construction before the end of 2009.

     nuclear-china-1

    nuclear-china-2

    There has been discussion about building new nuclear plants in the United States, both adding reactors where some already exist as well new ‘green’ sites, but these are certainly not your ‘shovel-ready’ projects. Unlike China, where they struck a deal with Westinghouse in December 2006 and are already well on their way, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) estimates that it needs a minimum of 42 months to issue the design, site, and construction/operation licenses required for reactor construction to begin. The NRC, after so many years with no applications for new reactors, does not have a proven process for efficiently licensing new reactors.

    A fast-track program, laid out by Heritage’s nuclear expert Jack Spencer, would have the U.S. building new plants on a timeline comparable to those of China and Japan– without compromising on public safety and security. We’ve accepted and embraced nuclear power before in this country. A radical environmental movement, over-regulation, and too much government intervention stopped, it but we still have 104 reactors providing 20 percent of America’s electricity emissions-free. If the market says nuclear is economically viable, it’s time we accept and embrace it again.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Accepting and Embracing Nuclear Power

    1. B.A. Illinois says:

      I have said for a long time that D.C. needs to get smart, about energy. H.R. 2454 is total nonsense.If it is all about energy they would not offer this

      bill for approval.If D.C. really want energy they would go nuclear.I know; not shovel ready-but what is. Set the wheels in motion now.Nuclear is a very cheap and clean source of electricity.

      We have billions of dollars that were put in play last winter, lets use them to fast track for a plant or two in each state. If we do that it would solve all our problems. Lots of jobs,jobs,jobs. In 4-5 years we would have all the electricity we would ever need. In the mean time we could start to harvest all the natural gas that our wonderful country is blessed to have.Congress needs to be frugal.No more paying off those that got them elected, with tax money.I am tired of

      being taken to the cleaners by D.C. Congress has lost their way, they need to get back to the Constitution.They have become very corrupt.I believe the answers to most our problem would be term limits 1 term for senate and 2 for house.We would need to be heavy handed; that would not provide time to become dishonest.In twelve and 8 years respectively they could run again and no place holder.I know I have been rambling, sorry. Small space and a lot to say.Call your congress people,often and let them know what you want,them to do. Remember you are the employer. Always remember this is a Republic, and is governed of the people, by the people and for the people. Let them know. Thanks

    2. Spiritof76 says:

      Apart from the tortoise-pace of the NRC and other governmnt agencies, the problem in the US is the environmental extremists and their never-ending lawsuits. The latter are not factors in China.

      We must get rid of those parasite organizations and their lawyers if we wnt to build nuclear power plants in the US.

    3. Scott Johnston Tri-C says:

      I currently work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington. (Yes… there are conservatives in Washington State…mainly on the east side) The emphasis at the site is mainly on enviromental clean up, which is an important project. But this cleanup is from early reactors that developed the material used in the atomic bombs the helped end the Second World War.

      But there is also a working and a mothballed reactor on this site. The main resource is a community that is willing to have reactors in their back yard and the expertise to build and operate them. There is also a breeder reactor that was recently decommissioned. This reactor had some of the latest technology and was used as a test reactor for future materials to be used in the nuclear program and also could be used in the development of medical radioisotopes which the US imports because of no production facilities. This beautiful facility now lays dormant built by your tax dollars only to be wasted.

      The above article states that the NRC has not commissioned a reactor in such a long time that they have lost the ability to do such. This lost ability also goes with the aging workforce that has the knowledge to build and operate these facilites…we must begin a fast track progam before this expertise is lost.

      Washington State's main population is on the west side of the Cascades…which is liberal..the east side has no chance due this difference.

      I write this to let people know that there are places, like Southeastern Washington that has the area, expertise and the support of the community to help usher the revival of the nuclear age….

      Respectfully Submitted…Scott Johnston

    4. Pingback: Let’s Go Nuclear! | Constant Conservative

    5. Keith somewhere in t says:

      Free market? Does such a tool still exist in the USA? Why would existing energy providers want to compete when they can hire a lobbyist to win a subsidy from the state?

    6. Mike, Tucson says:

      I read something about a hybrid nuclear fission-fusion reactor that can "burn up" the radioactive waste from a fission nuclear reactor. If we have that capability why aren't we using it? That would take away the only negative of "nuclear power generation" …having to deal with radioactive nuclear waste. This isn't really the forum for the term limits issue but I totally agree (as do many others) but how would you get that to a vote? I think term limits for all public servants is a great first step in citizens getting control back from our out of control government. Congress certainly isn't going to put it on the ballot for us.

    7. FireInsideTheMan, Mi says:

      Obama and his Democrat cronies Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Markey (cap-and-tax anyone?), does not even have Nuclear Power as an option for clean, efficient "green" energy creation. Instead, he is trying to promote GE (a huge campaign supporter) and their wind turbines, solar panels, and lightbulbs to prop up a failing business model.

      Nuclear power is one of the safest, cleanest, efficient processes in the world. The government would do well to invest in cheaper energy options that will help us remain competitive for generations to come, without bankrupting the American public with false promises of clean coal technology and useless power options for much of the country to tap into effectively.

    8. thomas roberts,east says:

      As you can see by my e-mail address there isn't much work around anymore.I've built one reactor and and one steam generation plant in my carear.Being in charge of a field crew on these projects i can tell you there is not a mor safer structure ever built in the world than those.As far as employment,the reactor site i worked on was a ten year project,evry pay day payrol exceeded 1 million american dollars which made the imediade town near the plant very happy and also made conneticut verry happy.At the time it put 175 surveyors to work at one facility,believe me thats a lot of surveyors in one place,rigt now i dont think theres that many employed in south carolina wher i live right now.I personaly say go with the reactors,there safe,sufficient,deffinitly will create many jobs,and deffinitly will have an impact on local econonomies and the states they are built in.Thank you for listening to my rambling.It's just that i am so fed up with this present governments reteric!

    9. Gordon Chandler, Fl says:

      More lies and misinformation!

      No nuclear power plant is safe. Some are safer then others, but no nuclear power plant is safe. If there is any major problem at a nuclear power plant, we suffer the consequences for thousands of years.

      Another lie is that there is no other cost effective way to produce enough power. The truth is that solar power would serve all of our needs, and the overall cost would be much less then nuclear power production.

      The real problem is that the 1% of our population that controls 90% of the wealth would loose their control of the energy production money stream! It is because of this fact, that they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to miss-inform the population about solar power production.

      We need to start doing the right thing for the most people, not the people that have the most money!

    10. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    11. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      Why is it that everyone remembers and reveres the "China Syndrome" 1979 like that movie had more truths than Mickey Mouse, yet "Rollover" in 1981, which was far more frightening and potentially real, is not even given a second thought?

      What does anyone think the run on the banks on 9/18/08 was about?

      The press didn't report–but is anything Obama's doing, meant to reduce that risk? Or because the press didn't report it, means it didn't really happen?

      Hello?

    12. Dave Chelsea, MI says:

      Once again, it's time to set aside the emotion and the ideology —- Had Green Peace ONLY aligned nuclear power with nuclear medicine during their vocal opposition, as opposed to aligning nuclear engergy with nuclear weapons, America would already have all the nuclear plants needed to support America's energy independence.

    13. Oscar Unger, San Ant says:

      I'm curious that I haven't heard more about reviving the Integral Fast Reactor that was killed in 1994 by Clinton. These are super devices that solve many problems associated with conventional nuclear reactors. They are vastly more efficient, intrinsically safe, produce no plutonium and are therefore not a proliferation threat. So, anybody know what is happening in this arena?

    14. Bryan Kelly, Alphare says:

      Let's embrace nuclear energy here, too. Please support the: American Energy Act H.R. 2828 [111th]

      From the June 11, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Edited for space:

      "…The American Energy Act establishes a national goal of licensing 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years. With 31 announced reactor applications already in the pipeline, this goal can be achieved — and it will revitalize an entire manufacturing sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The bill also streamlines a cumbersome regulatory process by offering a two-year, fast-track approval program for power-plant applications that employ safe reactor designs already approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…"

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12446760421730403

      —————-

      The simple "Contact Congress" page below enables readers to quickly find and open a window directly to their US Representative, and then cut and paste a simple letter of support.

      Please visit and pass it on as you see appropriate.

      http://www.suretyinsider.com/american-energy-act-

      or, Twitter-sized:

      http://tinyurl.com/ljesvp

    15. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      America faces the same situation as before with nuclear Fission Power, and that is its residue, Plutonium! What do you do with it? It is very difficult to store, for a half a million years! Our Nuclear Power answer lies with Fusion. With Fusion, E=MC2 is real. Hydrogen give off a truly massive amount of energy, with the only by product being Helium. Any of the low atomic weight elements will do. They only turn into their neighbor to the right, on the periodic table. This is where America needs to devote funds for research and development.

      Hozro

    16. Ken, Boston MA says:

      Mike,

      There are several reactor technologies that can burn the long lived products of current light water reactors but they need more research and development. One of the most promising is a variant of the Molten Salt Reactor which is a current Gen IV concept but prototypes have been successfully run five to six times here, in Japan and Russia. There is a lot of work to be done to get these to a form that can be deployed commercially. Google Kirk Sorenson and you will learn a lot about this, and about fission in general, he's an excellent source of information. He advocates a move from Uranium to Thorium. I have been looking into this for years now and fully agree with him on this. Thorium is a much better feed stock, it produces very little long term waste (mostly fission products that decay to background in 300 years) and is proliferation resistant. The MSR, or as Kirk's group has dubbed it, the liquid fluoride thorium reactor can be feed Transuranics such as Np237, Pu, Am, Cm etc and burn them down at a rate of tons a year. These provide heat and neutrons to drive the production of energy and U233, which is the primary fissionable material in Thorium reactors (Th + n –> —>U233 then U233 + n —> fission).

      There is also a company in Virginia that has been developing a Thorium based fuel that can drop into light water reactors. This fuel has the geometries of a normal assembly except that it consists of an array of seeds surrounded by blankets made up of the Thorium. The seeds contain Plutonium, either from spent fuel or nuclear bomb pits. The neutrons from the Plutonium drives the breeder reaction creating Uranium233 in the blanket, which then becomes a fission target. The blanket stays in the reactor for around a decade, and the seed is replaced every three years. In this time 2/3rds of the Plutonium is destroyed in the process of making energy for the grid. According to the WNA, this process is three times more efficient as MOX. Last week Thorium Power entered into a collaboration with Areva to test this design in their EPR reactors.

    17. Ross Writes, Braden says:

      This one issue that I will acknowledge that the French have a wonderful track-record on, as do other western nations, including the USA. The real "China Syndrome" happened in the former USSR, not in Pennsylvania.

    18. John, Colorado says:

      A flame from burning "Brown's Gas", passed over a radioactive substance, reportedly renders it non-radioactive.

    19. Debt Settlement Prog says:

      charming post. upright one unimportant where I contest with it. I am emailing you in detail.

    20. Dan Brosman Scottsda says:

      We need to take a hard look at Hyperion Power Generators.

      They are a company that produces small (the size of a small tool shed) contained, sealed, reactors under license from Los Alomos Labs.

      These can power tens of thousands of homes and will amortize in about three years with a useful service life before refueling of 7-10 years.

      These are particularly applicable for remote areas. They use low grade fuel which is useless for any kind of weapons. They are also buried deep underground for added safety.

    21. Dr. Dan Ulseth, Sacr says:

      Not only is the NRC slow in their review process, but the fee – structure penalizes smaller reactors from entering the market. By modifying the fees based on generated power, say a category for 5MWe – 125MWe, another for 150MWe – 600MWe and the last for 600+ MWe, the field would be more level for different designs to fill different niches of the market.

      Hyperion, NuScale, TerraPower, Adams Atomic Engines, B&W mPower, Toshiba 4S are just some of the designs being prepared for the market. Consider the developing countries that don't have the power line infrastructure capable of handling 1,000 MWe power plants, but they could more easily deal with several smaller, distributed, modular and scalable reactors.

      These developing countries could actually avoid the track we've taken; not burn coal and avoid the particulate pollution we've endured; and get straight to clean, reliable, efficient, on-demand electricity to improve their quality of life.

    22. Steve Klausner says:

      The countries building nuclear power are all socialists. If the United States is to become self sufficient we need to support a public option.

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