07.01.2008 0

Solution to Energy Crisis: Go Nuclear!

  • On: 07/16/2008 13:02:29
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • For more than 30 years, Big Government has stood in the way of new gasoline refineries, new oil drilling, and new nuclear power plants – all the while proclaiming its unwavering support for “energy independence”. Now, at last, there may be a light at the end of the nuclear tunnel.

    Ironically, the torch of liberty is being held aloft by a foreign emissary from France – a country which has 59 reactors located at 20 sites, providing 88 percent of the country’s electricity. Jacques Figuet testified in front of the Georgia State House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications committee:

    “Nuclear reactors should be the base load for any electricity production,” said Jacques Figuet, the counselor for nuclear affairs for the French Embassy.

    And, for those concerned about what to do with nuclear waste, Figuet noted that France recycles it for reuse:

    “France recycles about 20,000 tons of its spent nuclear fuel each year, prompting Rep. Bob Smith (R-Watkinsville) to rhetorically ask whether the same can be done here… ‘There’s Yucca Mountain, where we’re spending billions of taxpayer dollars, and we can’t even open it for one shred of spent fuel rods,’ Smith said… Congress passed a law forbidding the reprocessing of nuclear waste, said Lynn Wallace, a spokeswoman for Georgia Power.”

    Fortunately, indications are that the nuclear industry could be back in business after the government-imposed thirty year lull:

    “Stoked by new federal subsidies and worries over global warming, the nuclear power industry is beginning to glow brightly once again… The Nuclear Regulatory Commission received seven applications for new power plants last year and is expecting a dozen more by the end of December. The applications, combined, will cover a total of 22 reactors since more than one is proposed at some sites, spokesman Scott Burnell said.”

    But the fact is, not a one of these sites has been approved yet, and there’s no reason to believe that they will be any time soon.

    In short, while the late Billy Rose may have been right that “Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”, the American government can be – and is. And the tragedy of the travesty is deepened when one realizes how clean, safe, and efficient nuclear energy is. When compared to other sources of energy on the basis of yield, nuclear power bombs its competition into the Stone Age:

    “The beauty of nuclear fission is its ability to derive so much from so little. The energy density of nuclear fuel far exceeds that of any other energy source. As my Manhattan Institute colleague Peter Huber has noted, ‘A bundle of ­enriched-­uranium ­fuel ­rods that could fit into a ­two-­bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen would power [New York City] for a year: furnaces, espresso machines, subways, streetlights, stock tickers, Times Square, ­everything—­even our cars and taxis, if we could conveniently plug them into the grid.’”

    If the government continues its intransigence, our only hope may be that Mr. Figuet comes back in thirty years, rents an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, and does what our own government will not.

    ALG Perspective:
    In an era where we have seen no new gasoline refineries being built, no new oil drilling occurring domestically, and no new nuclear plants, the above news is indeed welcome, but we take it with a grain of salt. It underscores that Big Government needs to lift its Big Regulations which hampers an expansion of U.S. energy production.

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