Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nuclear Power: Hard Sell or Impossible

This LATimes article on the President's speech with regards to Nuclear Power clearly shows the up-hill battle the country can look forward to when it tries to build new Nuclear Power stations.
Bush's brief tour of the Limerick Generating Station, about 35 miles west of Philadelphia, reflected his stepped-up effort to encourage the nation to move forcefully into the construction of nuclear power generating facilities, on hold since the Three Mile Island incident.

"Nuclear power is abundant and affordable," Bush told plant workers gathered in a tent at the base of two giant cooling towers, which emitted plumes of steam while he spoke.

As the price of gasoline has passed $3 a gallon in many parts of the country, Bush is putting a spotlight on one of the most controversial elements of the environmental and energy equation.

On March 28, 1979, a malfunctioning valve at Three Mile Island, about 50 miles west of here, led to a partial meltdown of the reactor core and releases of radioactive gases into the air. Coming within days of the release of the movie "The China Syndrome," a fictional version of a similar incident, the accident at Three Mile Island made the facility - now run by Exelon Corp., which also operates the Limerick site - synonymous with the risk of contamination posed by nuclear power plants.

No deaths or injuries of workers or area residents were reported, but the incident, which allowed what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission called "only small off-site releases of radioactivity," led to widespread concerns about the safety of nuclear power - and a halt to the construction of new plants.
You really have to appreciate the insertion of "China Syndrome" and TMI into the report. I'm fairly surprised that Chernobyl isn't leading off the story. Note how the ensure to point out that Exelon runs both Limerick and TMI. Almost making it sound like Exelon ran TMI at the time of the partial core melt-down event. Of course, they didn't.

Bush's speeches won't make much progress. First, there is just too much Bush Derangement Syndrome in the public to make his speeches effective. Then there is little support from other politicians. And the public has too long swallowed the propaganda, put out by the Swampies and propagated by the MSM that Nuclear power is dangerous, to start listening to the reality of the situation.

Then you have wonders like Hillary making remarks like this:
Nuclear now is very much in the news as a potential power source because of its lack of contribution to global warming. If you look at nuclear energy, which currently provides 20 percent of our energy with virtually no emission of greenhouse gases, we do have to take a serious look. But there remain very serious questions about nuclear power and our ability to manage it in a world with suicidal terrorists. So I have real concerns, specifically about a plant in my state near where I live, Indian Point, which has had a number of problems, and more generally, with the capacity and quality of the oversight provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. So we need to resolve problems with the NRC, as well as questions of cost, safety, proliferation and waste before we go forward with nuclear power.
If these power stations were that vulnerable, you'd think that a terrorist agent would have made some attempt to actually attack one. But they haven't. In fact, I'd call that line more proof that politicians seem only to live in a world where movie-script threats are the only concern.

I'm not enthusiastic about the chances of seeing more nuclear power in the country in the next few decades. I'm betting on the status-quo and lots of bitching about global warming.

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