Tag Archive for nuclear power

To Nuclear or not to Nuclear?

In the three pieces attached, we see the complexity of the nuclear power argument. Two respected former Governor’s have differing views on whether or not the proposed PSE&G subsidy proposal is a good idea. The current Governor has forced a change in the prior legislation to include more perks for renewable energy.

So what is a legislature to do?

nuclearThe issue is certainly complex and it raises an interesting question about the entire issue of subsidies for power generation. We have discussed this before. Some of my Libertarian friends think that renewables receive too many subsidies at the expense of older forms of power generation. My Green friends think that this is necessary to even the playing field.

Clearly, nuclear does not generate greenhouse gases…but it does generate very dangerous waste with no plan on how to store it safely. All forms of energy generation get some form of subsidy…some for more than 100 years…So, it seems to me, if New Jersey wants to subsidize its existing nuclear plants, than it has to make a policy call…

Do we want multiple forms of non-greenhouse gas power generation or do we want to continue with fossil fuels?

I think that the new legislation partially answers that question.

Of course, the devil is in the details as they say. Should there be transparency? Should Rate Counsel be involved? These questions are too complicated for this post…

Read the full articles:
N.J. nuclear bill returns — amid new controversy
Gov. Kean: Don’t rush bailout of PSEG’s nuclear plants. Wait for Murphy


Nuclear Power Pull Out by Toshiba; A Proof that we need to be careful what we wish for.

With Toshiba/Westinghouse pulling out of the nuclear power plant market, we see further proof about the economic failure of this mode of power generation. To be sure, there are a number of factors that contributed to this event, from Fukushima to regulations as they are applied in the U.S.

This is not about reducing regulatory standards. But the pull out may trigger the law of unintended consequences.

As noted, in the U.S., nuclear power plants must meet stringent safety standards. This is clearly a good thing.

These standards are effectively exported by the large companies that design and build such plants in the U.S. But with this pull out, state owned plants and companies (clearly a bad idea) can and may very well lower their standards for safety in certain parts of the world. That is clearly a bad thing.

Any ideas?

Read the full article:
The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Nuclear Power Plants

I have written several times about Nuclear Power and I am still amazed at the articles and discussions that I read on how this form of power production is being pushed as a means of reducing carbon emissions and thus, should be pushed forward. More amazing is the logic that we should go forward with Nuclear Power in spite of the risks associated with its use.

Nuclear Power Plants IllustrationAs I have stated before, I am not overly concerned about the safe running of a nuclear power plant in the United States. I have had the privilege of seeing nuclear power plants in operation and I have a high level of confidence in their operational safety. It is the long term safety issues that concerns me.

No one has adequately addressed issues regarding nuclear waste storage or safety. No one has adequately addressed the issues of subsidies by taxpayers that are more than 60 years old.

I do hear about the unfair subsidies for clean energy sources and conservation…but let me sum up this way.

If a solar field is subsidized, it is still catching up to a century of subsidies for fossil fuels and decades of subsidies for nuclear.

If a solar field, dam or windmill fails, the result is a short term and localized disaster. If a nuclear power plant, or nuclear waste is let loose, well, we know the result.

This new found love for nuclear power is a misplaced affection that will cost all of us for thousands of years to come. It simply does not pass the test for sustainability.

I do hope this is the last time it comes up, but I doubt it.

Read the full article:
Nuclear Plants, Despite Safety Concerns, Gain Support as Clean Energy Sources
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Nuclear Power: Liberal bias and science

Mr. Porter oversimplifies his argument that there is liberal bias at work when environmentally concerned individuals oppose or question nuclear power. Indeed, the argument reflects the lack of holistic thinking that is often evident in energy arguments.

He notes that nuclear power generates no greenhouse gases…well, that is true to a point…after all we must mine the uranium and that takes power…but he misses the big picture with regard to the environment.

Nuclear Power ReyclingNuclear power generates highly polluting waste from the mining of uranium that we do not handle very well…and as I have noted in other posts, generates waste products after the uranium is used to generate power for which we have never developed a rational or sensible long term storage solution.

Further, nuclear power fails the test for sustainability on so many levels that it is almost impossible to state them all in a blog…Here are just a few:

  • Due to the risks inherent in the plants, we as taxpayers subsidize nuclear on orders of magnitude higher levels than it deserves.
  • It is the public that will have to subsidize the storage for millennia. Reanuclear power
    lly, millennia…and what is the longest single surviving civilization?
  • Did I mention the waste product is deadly.
  • Nuclear waste is not well secured on a global basis…and yet we worry about dirty bombs…so our solution…make more waste.

No, myopic thinking about climate change and the “benefits” of nuclear power hurts our ability to curb climate change. Here’s a thought…put all of the cost of the next three proposed nuclear power plants into energy conservation efforts and clean power.

Read the full article:
Liberal Biases, Too, May Block Progress on Climate Change
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.