Additional reading on this issue
- NEI Nuclear Notes –A Ban Falls: Sweden Refocuses on Nuclear Energy
- Takepart Social Action Network – Sweden Mulls Lifting Nuclear Ban
- Eideard – Sweden aims to lift nuclear ban
- Wall Street Journal – Sweden Set to Overturn Ban on Nuclear Power
- David Walters on Daily Kos – Sweden Dumps Nuclear “Phase Out”!!!
I consider myself agnostic when it comes to nuclear. But I think it is a good idea to inject this issue forcefully into the presumably anti-nuclear environment of the Obama Administration. This squib from the Atomic Insights Blog bears further reading if you are interested. SOURCE
The recent coal ash spill after an earthen dam collapse in eastern Tennessee near a power plant poured 5.4 million cubic yards of wet coal ash into the Emory River and brought the issue into sharp focus.
Utilities have known all along that nuclear power is far cleaner for the air than burning coal or natural gas. Last year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission received 12 applications for nuclear power plants, including the one from AmerenUE in Callaway County.
Perhaps the most salient questions to ask of nuclear advocates are:
Has Japan hidden nuclear accidents?
Is nuclear safety so dependent on the abilities and integrity of those who manage the plants that there is a human risk factor depending on the country undertaking the program?
Conceding disposal problems, how long will it be until this issue is satisfactorily resolved?
In point of fact, I have no idea what Barack will do in terms of nuclear energy. In my compendium of things he will do as President, there are many references to the problems of nuclear proliferation, disarmament and the location and control of loose nuclear materials. But not one to nuclear energy as a positive option for the future.
There were a few nods to nuclear energy during the campaign but nothing to suggest a strong commitment.
I feel this is one issue on which we the people (or more correctly, those of us who are in full sympathy with Obama for America) have a real chance to sway an issue. I also feel there are strong arguments on both sides.
To show that there is a case to be made from a liberal to left perspective, I direct your attention to the Left Manifesto for Nuclear Energy.
Among other things I learned that in the US we already have over 100 reactors chugging away.
I recall Barack having said that the proof will lie in the safety and that this will rely on our being able to store waste better or learn to minimize it so radically that it is not a major smoking gun.
Well, the issue is out there, clearly.
Theologically, I am inclined to think if something is available that can help us, it is our job to perfect it. That would speak well for a judicious approach which cedes to the partisans of nuclear energy at least a place at the table when we are deciding what to do to build a world beyond oil and the oil economy.
Atomic Insights has “vetted” Dr. Stephen Chu and concluded he is a great choice for Energy Secretary in the Obama Cabinet. From what I can gather, he is not averse to using nuclear technology if the problem of waste can be radically reduced.
So far most if not all of Barack’s Cabinet choices have more than passed muster.
Via the source above, the following is from “A Sustainable Energy Future: The Essential Role of Nuclear Energy” August 2008/ Dr. Chu was one of the signers.
We believe that nuclear energy must play a significant role in our nation’s — and the world’s — electricity portfolio for the next 100+ years. Nuclear energy has great potential for contributing more to our broader energy needs, however. For example, nuclear energy could supplement or even supplant fossil fuels by providing the electricity for electric-powered vehicles, or it could be used to generate hydrogen for vehicles that utilize hydrogen fuel cells. Nuclear energy could also help to generate high-temperature process heat, provide a valuable input for feedstock to chemical production and aid in the production of freshwater from seawater and contaminated surface and groundwater sources.