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  • Morning Bell: The Nuclear Option for Powering America

    When you flip on a light switch, turn on your TV, start up your coffee maker, or charge your cell phone, there’s a good chance that the energy you’re using to get the job done has been generated by nuclear power. Yet this misunderstood power source is vastly underutilized in America.

    In a new documentary by The Heritage Foundation called “Powering America,” we examine how nuclear energy is used in the United States and take a look at the big questions. Is nuclear energy safe? Can it help to meet our future energy needs? “Powering America” answers these questions and more by pulling back the veil on nuclear energy and follows the men and women who work in America’s nuclear power industry.

    Taking a behind-the-scenes look at uranium mines, nuclear power plants, and used fuel recycling facilities from across the globe, “Powering America” takes viewers on a journey through the full fuel cycle, showing how a simple piece of rock can power a nation, and ultimately our future. The documentary examines cooling towers, how a power plant works, nuclear waste, the benefits of nuclear energy, the truth behind accidents, the impact on people who work in and live around nuclear power facilities, questions about radiation, and regulations in America.

    The issue is particularly relevant today as the world remembers the Fukushima disaster in Japan and as America grapples with escalating energy costs, threats from the Iranian regime to cut off a quarter of the world’s oil supply, and an Obama Administration that appears bent on blocking the development of domestic sources of energy, such as his decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline. Amid these energy challenges, whether Americans know it or not, nuclear is already filling 20 percent of America’s energy needs with 104 reactors in 31 states, everywhere from California to Arizona, Texas to Michigan, Florida to New York.

    There’s hope that America could turn toward nuclear power for even more of its energy. Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to approve permits to begin construction on two nuclear reactors — the first time in over three decades that the NRC granted a license to build new reactors. While it’s good news that those plants were approved, Heritage’s Jack Spencer and Rachael Slobodien explain that a full-scale rebirth of the nuclear industry cannot occur without serious reforms including fixing how nuclear waste is managed, developing a more efficient regulatory regime for nuclear energy, and allowing market forces to determine what technologies move forward.

    “Powering America” examines these issues and more. America is looking for safe and smart solutions to meet America’s growing energy demands, especially as technology advances and new devices become essential to our daily lives. Is nuclear energy the answer? Find out in our “Powering America” documentary.

    Watch the trailer for “Powering America” and sign up to learn more about the documentary.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    59 Responses to Morning Bell: The Nuclear Option for Powering America

    1. Mary......WI says:

      I like CLEAN coal as an option too. There's an abundance of coal in the US. They just need safer ways of mining the coal. It employs many people and is also an export for this country.

      • Saltire says:

        There is no such thing as 100% clean coal, but at current levels of use the U.S. does have a 241 year supply. If use is increased, the length of time will decrease. So, it does have limitations of supply and alternatives still need to be pursued.

    2. Ted K - NJ says:

      The issue of nuclear power is multifaceted. The potential of nuclear energy is unlimited, but the practicality of nuclear energy is countered by the extreme limitations placed upon it.

      The first issue is the problem of spent nuclear waste. The fact that we still don't have a secure facility, such as Yucca Mountain, operational for the storage and eventual nuclear decay of spent fuel rods. This means we just continue to re-arrange spent nuclear rods on-site at each existing nuclear plant and as they say, kick the can down the road.

      The next issue is that our current nuclear plants are aging. When do they start to go off-line due to their end-of-life and how do we go about replacing these lost plants? When do we need to start building new plants to replace the ones that are going off-line?

      The next is that our strategy of allowing multiple designs for nuclear plants is not economical. If we build plants that are "unique" in their design, we prolong the approval process for each unique design and we can't take advantage of "repeatability" in building new plants. If we had a single design that is tested and repeatable, we could get rid of the front-end of the approval process and then be able to compare each identical plant against each other for completeness and reliability. This is what has made nuclear energy in France so successful, in that they have a single repeatable design. This would make people more secure in knowing that we deep knowledge of how each plant will be built and operated.

      The next great question, is how long it will take to built a nuclear plant, if we started today. We all know the big problem in energy production is how much pollution it produces. We rely heavily on coal-fired plants today. If the problem is pollution (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur, mercury, etc.), wouldn't a better strategy be the utilization of our new found natural gas supplies? Natural Gas is less polluting than coal and more efficient in terms of waste. Natural Gas has no real physical waste, whereas coal has residue, which is often extremely toxic. Natural Gas does product pollutants, but given that you could achieve nearly 100% combustion (home furnaces are now up to 97.5% and exhaust through PVC pipe!), would this be a better alternative?

      Natural Gas plants to produce electricity could be located closer to the demand as significant pipelines are in place to move Natural Gas almost anywhere in the lower 48 states. "Micro" plants would be a of a repeatable design, easily sited in areas such as old brownfield locations (obviating the need to re-mediate the site for uses other than commercial) and turned up or down depending on electrical demand.

      So, long and careful thought should be given in going down the nuclear path once again where there might be cheaper alternatives in the short term until we have the political will to solve the nuclear issue once and for all.

      • Gunner says:

        @ Ted K – NJ:

        I hold US Patent 6,846,967 on a method of nuclear waste disposal that has been sitting at DoE . Made a presentation to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management just about 6 years ago (late March 2006) and haven't heard a WORD since then. If nuclear waste is properly managed, the potential for nuclear power is great. It would allow Hanford WA and Barnwell SC to be cleansed and returned to productivity.

      • Carlos says:

        Ted… LFTR reactors produce waste with a fraction of the half life, of conventional reactors. Disposal is way less complicated.

    3. Thomas Fox says:

      re Morning Bell -nuclear: at paragraph 5, line 9 do you mean to say "cannot occur WITHOUT serious reform"?

    4. William Skinner says:

      If nuclear power is the most expensive type of electricity
      when taking into account the capital costs as opposed to just
      operating costs, why should we go for nuclear?

    5. John Tyreman says:

      In my ‘Energy Independence’ paper I explain what has to take place for a resurgence of our economy (first step) and converting the country to electricity which will allow us to export oil and pay off our debt. Google:

      johntyremanenergyindependence all one word.

      John

    6. psychicbloodbrother says:

      There is some very compelling arguments out there about slow breeder reactors as a safer more sustainable alternative to the current fast breeder reactors around the world. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors were never built but the technology was proven. What will the Heritage Foundation do to promote LFTR as a possible slow breeder alternative for the future of nuclear energy?

    7. RogCol says:

      Nuclear is the answer, BUT we still need to determine how to manage the waste.

    8. Ken Jarvis says:

      Example of how HF Distorts facts.
      Headline – “The Nuclear Option for Powering America
      When you flip on a light switch, turn on your TV, start up your coffee maker, or charge your cell phone, there's a good chance that the energy you're using to get the job done has been generated by nuclear power. “ 3-12-12
      Fact – “General Statistical Information

      Nuclear energy provides 19.6 percent of the United States' electricity and is its No. 1 source of emission-free electricity. “ – Nuclear Energy Institute.

      Another Truth – that the HF will block – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      • Clearhead says:

        Well, well. Good work, Kenny boy. How dare that pesky HF claim that 20% of America's electrical energy is nuclear, when in .reality (according to you) it's only 19.6% ! Outrageous. Is that 0.4% the "another truth" that HF is blocking? Or if there is another, it must somehow be hidden in your "post", so maybe you could elaborate on it since us dunces can't seem to find it.

    9. Ernest T Bass says:

      Nuclear power sounds good. However how much nuclear waste do we have buried now? What are the plans for the disposal of future nuclear waste? Just Askin!! "Oath Keeper!!"

    10. Mel Hamilton says:

      The issue is not safety at the reactor sites! Ask a physicist about how they deal with spent fuel. Radioactive waste will have to be guarded at storage sites (or sealed on the ocean floor, or shoved into space) for hundreds of years.

      By far the safest, cleanest, most efficient is hydroelectric power.

      Oil products are more portable…You cannot carry reactors in motor vehicles, nor can sufficient stored electricity be carried.

    11. R. L, Whittington says:

      In the 60's when I was stationed in Germany as a pilot, during night flight exercises it was always easy to discern when you were in France or Germany because while Germany was ablaze in lights, French towns were still using few low wattage light for city and village lightinng. . In 2000 I made a three week trip by river boat from the south to the Loire Valley , and was amazed to discover a fully illuminated France, The reason for the change were the numerous nuclear plants that had been built along the French rivers, and were furnishing affordable energy.

    12. Carol,AZ says:

      My husband and I both held clearances from the NRC and the DOE. We support nuclear power.
      Your excellent summary on nuclear power and the red light given by the NRC, to build two nuke plants, and a reactor, is good news.
      For us; "the elephant in the room," has always been the inability for the USA to reclaim "spent fuel" using Yucca MT as the dumping area. We have many examples now around the world, ( France ) that reclaims the highest % of all spent fuel. This has been from our perspective, the USA biggest mistake. It's an expensive process initially, but over long-term has a higher pay back and is less toxic to our enviroment. Thanks for the videos re.

      • ThomNJ says:

        Thanks for making that point! I worked in the nuclear plant construction industry when I first graduated from engineering school. It has always amazed me that our government puts up so many roadblocks to making nuclear power a great source of energy – and not allowing recovery of spent fuel was always a problem. I seem to recall a demo that someone invthe inudstry gave once and said that while we have tons of nuclear waste, France has about a bucket full – or something to that effect. And I also believe that France uses the American designed Westinghouse pressurized water reactor.

    13. Scott Denman says:

      If you can't get the simplest of facts right about nuclear power, how do you expect to build trust in this already and appropriately highly dis-trusted technology?

      You state: "…whether Americans know it or not, nuclear is already filling 20 percent of America’s energy needs…"

      Wrong. Nuclear power contributes less than 10% of the U.S. energy supply and less than 20% of the nation's electrical supply.

      Those who profess to support nuclear have the burden of proof on them that this troubled, high-cost cost is worth the price to develop.

      Also, you can't have it both ways. Natural gas is dirt cheap, so why pay for electricity from a source that is 3 or 4 times more expensive, accident prone, produces waste that we don't have a proven, permanent safe method of isolating from humans and the environment, and is a potential terrorist target?

      Also, it's interesting tho me that Heritage supports nuclear power. Other Hertiage commentators rightful dennounce the huge federal taxpayer subsidies (loan guarantees) and state ratepayer fees (advanced construction payments often called Construction Work In Progress or 'CWIP') that keep this technology propped up. How are suggesting that the industry finance its resuscitation. I'm sure that your tubthumping video doesn't mention that Heritage no-no — huge taxpayer subsidies like the loan Guarantees and Price-Anderson Act (taxpayer-paid costs in case of accidents).

      Time for the Heritage Foundation to stop speaking out of both sides of its mouth. If you are true fiscal conservatives and long for the music of the marketplace so much, you have to — all of you — give the whole truth about this energy source. Unless you don't care about intellectual honesty, Heritage can't have it both ways: on the one hand glad-handing nuclear in your video, and not mentioning how nuclear should be financed and then, on the other hand, opposing taxpayer financed guarantees, and huge historic R&D subsidies (including Price-Anderson) via your other writers and commentators.

      So, in sum, get your facts right and speak with one honest voice at Heritage.

    14. Whicket Williams says:

      If the government will get out of they way, stop corporations from interfering with entrepreneurs , The average man will solve this problem very quickly.
      If course, this will never happen, because the powerful will lose a lot of power, and they will never allow that!

    15. Jerry Troyer says:

      Why does the U. S. not use liquid fluoride salt Thorium reactors? They are cheaper to build and cost less to operate. India has a thorium reactor in operation today. The U.S. has stockpiled thorium and this type of reactor does not produce bomb making byproducts. Only about 15% of waste is highly radioactive with a half life of about 300 years. Also, turn off the power and the salt freezes stopping the reactor.

      • suzpenn says:

        Good Point, (My earlier post on thorium did not go through), In the fall of 2008 Senators Reid and Hatch referred a study on the use of thorium for nuclear power to committee and we've heard nothing since.
        Even Japan, because of the disaster they suffered, are considering the use of thorium nuclear power.
        It just makes you wonder what is going on with our government officials, as there is no good reason not to build future thorium nuclear power plants. As I understand too, our existing nuclear power plants can use thorium however, the design will still require uranium to 'kick start' operations.

        The only way we will get officials moving on this is for organizations and the public to actively involved in demanding it. Good articles have been written on using thorium but it's not enough.

    16. KC-NM says:

      Alternative energy is critical and nuclear energy is part of this initiative. We cannot rely only on coal, oil, and even natural gas. The administrations strategy on alternative energy is a joke. We can provide this if we really wanted to. Apollo Missions were a solid example of what we can do if we really want to do it.
      Second issue is what to do with the nuclear waste – Yucca Mountain should never have been cancelled and WIPP in NM can still hold a great deal of waste.

    17. Jerry Troyer says:

      Why does the U. S. not use liquid floride salt Thorium reactors? They are cheaper to build and cost less to operate. India has a thorium reactor in operation today. The U.S. has stockpiled thorium and this type of reactor does not produce bomb making byproducts. Only about 15% of waste is highly radioactive with a haif

      • Susan . . . Pa says:

        Excellent Point! In '08 Senators Hatch and Reid referred a study on Thorium for nuclear power to committee and we've heard nothing since. Even in Japan, because of their disaster, they are now considering using Thorium for their future nuclear power plants. There is and has been great information on thorium for our nuclear power. We have an abundant supply, cheaper to mine, leaves no weapons grade waste, and the waste generated remains radio active for a fraction of the time compared to uranium.
        Organizations and we the people must speak up about this issue and hold our elected officials to account.

      • Susan . . . Pa says:

        Excellent Point! In '08 Senators Hatch and Reid referred a study on Thorium for nuclear power to committee and we've heard nothing since. Even in Japan, because of their disaster, they are now considering using Thorium for their future nuclear power plants. There is and has been great information on thorium for our nuclear power. We have an abundant supply, cheaper to mine, leaves no weapons grade waste, and the waste generated remains radio active for a fraction of the time compared to uranium.

      • Suzpenn says:

        Excellent point! In the fall of '08 Senators Hatch and Reid of Utah, referred to committee reports of using Thorium for further study. We've heard nothing since. Makes you wonder? Because of the disaster in Japan even they are now seeking to use Thorium for future nuclear power.

        We have an abundant supply of Thorium, it's cheaper to mine, leaves no weapons grade material, and is radio active for a fraction of the time of uranium waste. For the environmental activists who have been blocking the building of new nuclear power plants on safety and waste concerns, using thorium is a no brainer and a game changer.

        In spite of all the good reports and information out there regarding thorium nothing is being accomplished. I would ask Mike Brownfield to share his thoughts on this.

    18. Yrrej says:

      In your fifth paragraph, which begins "There's hope…" you need to change "with" to "without" in your last sentence. A full-scale rebirth cannot occur WITHOUT those things that you mention.

    19. Thorium reactors have many advantages over uranium reactors. The new thorium reactors are inherently safe by design. Reusing old uranium, which makes them a valuable reduction process for older reactor materials, This solves many storage problems. They are safe to the point of being able to be constructed in almost any block in town. We need fossile fuel and nuclear Let the free market work without political mechinations.

    20. mush says:

      Breeders are an effective way to use our stockpiles of waste uranium. They would produce abundant power while eliminating the waste problem. Thorium is a much more rational process. No giant containment building, no explosive steam, no danger if power is lost., and very little 300 year waste. (see this link for a quick intro. ( http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/kirk_sorensen_th… )
      The problem with both of these is our Government! Fix the government regulations stopping these and free our commercial power companies to do what they do best. Provide nearly limitless cheap energy.

    21. Gary says:

      There are places in Nevada and Arizona that have open space and are far from cities. Perfect places for Nuclear power plants and waste disposal sites.

    22. moreorless says:

      There are many places on the old Nevada Test Site where nuclear waste can be stored in shallow burial where it can be easily recovered for reprocessing and adequate security is already in place. The real problem is the idiots in the NRC (that used to work for Harry Reid) who have put the state of Nevada off-limits for nuclear waste.

    23. moreorless says:

      The old Nevada Test Site has thousands of acres of contaminated land where nuclear waste could be shallow buried. This mode of storage would allow easy recovery for reprocessing whenever that becomes available. This land will never be populated and is already under heavy security. The only thing preventing this is the NRC heads (old employees of Harry Reid) who have declared Nevada off-limits to nuclear waste.

    24. onewebb47 says:

      Why is their no discussion of thorium reactors going on? Thorium is safer, byproducts are not weapons grade, threat of a meltdown is nearly zero, there is less waste, and the reactors are much cheaper to build. Tyorium needs to be in the forefront of the discussion to expand our use of nuclear power.

    25. Dot Pate says:

      Just heard yesterday that the nuclear power plant to be built in Victoria Texas will be constructed by TOKOYO POWER AND LIGHT. There is more to all this than meets the eye.

    26. Leslie Smith says:

      The US must find more sustainable sources of power. If we continue to use fossil fuels at the same rate they are now used, our great grandchildren will be without any fossil fuels. Sun power, wind power and nuclear power are just the beginning. I am convinced that the USA has the abiity to find new sources of fuel to power our cars and homes, if only those in power have the will to wean us off unsustainable sources of power. We are currently destroying valuable natural habitat that can never be regained. There should not be an oil pipeline. Those funds should be used to move sustainable fuel research forward. In the meantime, we must decrease our dependence on oil and coal.

      • Bobbie says:

        we have to let the market determine their choice with all available energy and into the future or your children will be without freedom. be specific when you claim "unsustainable sources of power." Oil isn't one of them and will continue availability while alternatives are perfected to efficiency and can make their debut standing on their own two feet. wind turbines and their atrocious ugliness and massive waste of land, kills more natural habitat than any pipeline and like solar will always be unsustainable intermittently.

    27. ChuckL says:

      Is there no one in this country who remembers that we have had Nuclear powered Air Craft Carriers and Nuclear powered Submarines for over 50 years with no known illnesses or disasters?

      Yes these are small power sources in comparison to what Los Angeles or New York City would need, but they would make extremely excellent sources for power for small communities throughout our nation. They would make wonderful power sources for desalinization plants located near, not ON the coast.

      As individual plants, they would provide a great backup for the nation in the event that we were subjected to an electromagnetic pulse attack, or simply a massive gamma ray blast from outer space. We have already had within our history since electricity became common, solar flares that have interrupted electronic communication in large parts of this nation and other parts of the world.

      We have politicians who are quite good at emphasizing the problems, but are completely clueless when it comes to proposing a solution. These people should never be re-elected. They have demonstrated that they have no solutions.

    28. ealexm says:

      The Documentary channel is not the best way to get your message out.. No matter which Comcast plan I choose I cannot view the documentary channel.
      ————————————————————————————————–
      When I ask Comcast, the reason I get from them is:

      Comcast does not currently offer the Documentary Channel on your area.
      Factors…· Customer satisfaction with similar networks
      · Importance of the network to our diverse community
      · Level of interest across a percentage of our customer base
      ————————————————————————————————–

      let me know when there is a web based way to watch. YouTube accepts segmented parts of longer videos and everyone could then watch.

    29. ealexm says:

      In vestors need some certainty or high probability of timely approval. Currently it takes a minimum of 4 years to get approvals and to build and $4B investment from private companies.

      Since there are elections every 4 years we have not managed to build many in the last 20 years or so.

      I do hope this changes with proposed legislation. Nuclear is one of many sources of energy needed to support needs growing with population and to fuel our economy chealpy when it rebounds. Look how fast china is building nuclear plants.

    30. Bobbie says:

      America's set-back is government unconstitutionally controlled.

    31. Jeff says:

      Nuclear power has made more sense than anything for years. Anything representing cheap energy, however, is going to be challenged by the socialists who need expensive energy to win their policies. They'll set up any sort of sham objecting ranging from the absurdity of nuclear detonation to environmental "concerns" of some sort or other.

      With our Republican Party, no worries, however. Whatever the socialists want, the Republicans will pretend to object to and then ultimately go along with. Have they challenged Obama seriously on anything??

    32. Spent nuclear rods… what do you do with them since no one wants them in their back yard (NIMBY)? Nuclear terrorism… what do you do about the poor security at nuclear facilities? We need to develop alternative energy. In the mean time, we supposedly have a 200 year supply of oil in the USA and we could clean up our coal plants. This could give us the time needed to do some serious research into solar, wind and other technologies. And, by the way, whatever happened to hydrogen-fueled cars? I haven't heard anything about them lately. The "pollution" they created was water. And, let's not forget that the original diesel engines ran on vegetable oil, NOT crude oil. What's wrong with that? What's wrong with running cars on propane or natural gas?

    33. daniel K. says:

      I like your article but you fail to mention the need to switch to the new low fission material "Thorium" which can not melt down like Japan's disaster. And can not be used to maken nuclear bombs. Note: That after the Japan disaster that China has decided to swith to Thoriun as has France. While Germany chose the wrong path to shut donw all of their nuclear plants. But again back to China. China is not pinning their future on any one power source and we should not either. Wind, Clean and thorium safe nuclear, natural gas, oil and coal. Hydroelectric and thermal. all make esnse. Solar not yet. No $5.00 gasoline or 20 cent KWH cost when we can do it for 11 cents per KWH. Note: and this needs to be said: NO COUNTRY CAN GROW THEIR ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS WITHOUT ABUNDANT AND AFFORDABLE ENERGY.

    34. americanadvocate says:

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

      MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN TED KENNEDY ' S CAR THAN IN AMERICAN NUCLEAR REACTORS .

    35. Anthony says:

      Discussion on nuclear energy is multifaceted and most people are still holding on to the knowledge they gain during the Cold War, when in reality much has happen in nuclear since then, including safety measures.
      CWIIL GROUP manages alternative energy projects worldwide such as solar, wind, hydro, thermal and nuclear, and for companies who wish to pitch in on that and utilize their extensive portfolio and know-how can get in touch with them via contacts on their website: http://www.cwiilgroup.us

    36. Saltire says:

      There are many newer nuclear power technology options such as; NuScale, TerraPower, Hyperion, and others. I am not sure what is holding the implementation of these technologies back from production and operation.

    37. Bryant Hopkins says:

      Nuclear power is the ultimate long range power source for a civilized society. First fission, and finally fusion. This will result in basically an (almost) all electrical power supply. Consider: nuclear wastes are collected: not stack-distributed. Carbon pollution can be contained. The oceans need not become acid. Consider the long range approach. For the next two decades: progressively convert (clean?) coal to natural gas. Move natural gas into oil usages. Start immediately to build current-technology nuclear power plants, and expand research on the next-generation nuclear plants as the currently -new plants age out. As research progresses, understand and implement fusion. Continue research and development of climate change to support adecent civilization to and beyond the next fity years!

    38. Carlos says:

      Nobody ever talks about LFTR (liquid flourine thorium reactor) reactors. Much cheaper to build, much smaller footprint, meltdown proof, much, much easier to dispose of waste material, almost unlimited supply of fuel material. The downside: They don't produce weapons grade plutonium, as a by-product… Google it…. Food fro thought.

    39. Carlos says:

      Wow!… I just combed through the comments. I've been a proponent of LFTR reactors for a long time. Afew years ago, nobody heard of them. There appears to be far more enlighten people, these days. LFTR (lifter) = Liquid Flourine Thorium Reactor.

    40. Mike, NC says:

      Not only are popular ignorance and fear (both innocent and willfull), and the taking advantage of them by Statist politicians and others, and the resulting consequences of them, on display, and not only is such proving to be an obstacle, but the other obstacle to overcome to begin with is, in two words, "first impressions". How so? The first impression of nuclear power was made by the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan to prevent even more death and destruction and so end World War II. Result? Ever since then, whenever people hear the world "nuclear", the first thing which comes to mind is a "mushroom cloud" from a "nuclear explosion”. So now, too many people don't hear anything after the word "nuclear"…they're not past that "mushroom cloud" in their mind and/or the horror stories since then they've heard about as if "that's nuclear". So, along with the problems of popular fear and ignorance, and the politicians and others who use and take advantage of them, the other obstacle, along with them, is first impression.

    41. Nuclear Hank says:

      How disappointing. I was the first to post on this video and my post is gone.

      I identified that not covering the danger of nuclear waste which is temporarily stored at 120 sites (mostly in yards of active and shut down nuclear power sites), within 75 miles of 130 million people just waiting for a terrorist in a Piper Cub full of C4 to create a dirty bomb.

      You seem to now have long coverage of nuclear waste but not as to it's immediate danger stored in open air concrete containers. Instead you repeatedly identify the Blue Ribbon Panel's flawed recommendations on organization. You are rearranging deck chairs as the nuclear ship sinks or, God help us, explodes

      HERE IS WHAT YOU MUST EMPHASIS!
      1. REOPEN YUCCA MOUNTAIN AS A TEMPORARY STORAGE FACILITY AT LEAST!
      2, Petition the US Government to put the $25B (or is it $33B also mentioned) of rate payers money in a separate fund before making any more green energy loans. ( I don't think they want to pay us back and they never will).
      3. Ensure that the NRC is stabilized as a non political organization with the removal of Harry Reids ex top staffer from it's head. No good will ever come from this body whose members have opposed this man's crude, non productive approach.
      4. Do something that Admiral Rickover failed at and is a source of our problems with nuclear power.
      EDUCATE THE PEOPLE ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER! Representative Gephardt, when house majority leader gave a speech warning of the dangers of transporting nuclear waste to an overturned coal train with coal spread all over one of his constituent Missouri towns. I called his office and apparently his staffers who wrote the speech were not aware that we actually mine, refine, manufacture and install nuclear fuel
      in super secure and highly tested containers that would be used for disposal. Yet all the Las Vegas residents are frightened out of their skin by the overturned coal train analogy and many other falsities.

      The problem with nuclear waste is IMMEDIATE!!!

    42. Tom Steele says:

      Mainly positive commnets on nuclear power. Recall, Jimmy Carter in the 1970's determined by law we could NOT reprocess fuel rods from reactors for fear U238- 239 (I believe) could be removed for bomb material. So today we store spent rods on reactor sites. However, per a great book on the subject, "Terrestrial Energy" by William Tucker, from Bartleby Press, France is reprocessing rods from Germany and France and storing the final waste material in a relatively small area above ground. I wonder on the "approval" process in America, if the coal, oil, natural gas as well as all other new offerings would not lobby to "stop" neclear from growth for selfish reasons. It would take a strong president and a determined administration to accomplish what really needs to be done.

    43. William Fray says:

      You should seriously look into and advocate THORIUM fueled nuclear plants. Thorium is not enrichable into s fissionable element. The reactor shuts off safely and immediately when the power is removed. No chance of a nuclear reaction but it will take a lot of time and advocacy to replace what we have now.

    44. Mike in Hickory says:

      "Cudos" to Carlos! Indeed it should be noted that when petrolium technology was at about the same point in developement as nuclear technology has reached since, gasoline was considered and disposed of as "waste" since there was practically no technology and no knowledge of what else to do with it. But when gasoline-powered internal combustion engines, and uses for them (including in motor vehicles) were freely created and developed, the people simultaneously discovered and so wanted the advantages that nobody could stop the overwhelming demand (not to mention market for them)…all without government force. It should also be noticed that France (the Statist Progressive's perennial favorite Euro-Socialist country) gets most of it's energy from nuclear power, which should help expose and overcome the obstacle of the hypocritical ignorance and fear-mongering by the Statist Left against nuclear energy, and more of it, here in the U.S.

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