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THE QUESTION

Are nuclear power projections realistic?

How realistic are the projections for an increase in nuclear power plants in the coming decades and what can the U.S. learn from the experience Europe has had with nuclear power?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on October 26, 2009 3:02 PM
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nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

if you say ok nuclear power

build new plants

what hppens to the older nuclaer power plants

that have structural weakness
and re not safe to operate and maintain???

 
nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt that said "Speak softly but carry a big stick"?

you can speak all you want

also take that big stick and shove it
where the sun don't shine

 
nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

hey another option is to take depleted uranium and make them inti wepons munitions.

It was estimated that during that assault over 10,000 tons of depleted uranium, DU, was used in the bombardment of the city of 300,000 people.

hell no we won't glow???

remember???

and then you can have new age kids like this; 5 etes and 1 foot,

3 feet 1 eye etc...

http://tinyurl.com/yz695o5

 
ricwpcomics Author Profile Page :
 

The use of nuclear power for energy generation creates a problem that must be addressed now - the disposal of the nuclear waste that is generated. The nuclear wastes generated by nuclear power plants operating now are not disposed of but are deposited in places that are considered to be "suitable." Let us look at the Love Canal case. Non-nuclear waste was deposited in that place and later, the area was developed into a residential area. The result was an environmental disaster mostly in terms of the effects on human health. Nuclear wastes would be worse. It must be disposed of, not just deposited somewhere.

 
ricwpcomics Author Profile Page :
 

The use of nuclear power for energy generation creates a problem that must be addressed now - the disposal of the nuclear waste that is generated. The nuclear wastes generated by nuclear power plants operating now are not disposed of but are deposited in places that are considered to be "suitable." Let us look at the Love Canal case. Non-nuclear waste was deposited in that place and later, the area was developed into a residential area. The result was an environmental disaster mostly in terms of the effects on human health. Nuclear wastes would be worse. It must be disposed of, not just deposited somewhere.

 
CarmanK Author Profile Page :
 

This is a big concern. The MD PSC just approved the partial purchase of Constellation Energy by EDF for the purpose of buildig a new nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs. If, EDF nuclear waste ended up in Somalia and other places, what does that tell us about the careless disregard for human life in place in these operations. I don't like the idea, that the French and other foreign governments are gaining footholds into our core energy supplies. The US is having hard enough trouble controlling domestic special interests. It is disconcerting to think the people will have to take on a whole new body of economic special interests in making national security decisions.

 
walkerbert Author Profile Page :
 

I don't know, I think if done well, nookilurz have great potential to get the energy monkey off our backs, for the most part, but even 'free' centrally produced energy doesn't help ya if the people that own the place decide to jack things around like Enron did. On the OTHER hand, Chernobyl isn't that far back in the old collective memory, and if you saw all the news stories about THAT, then you realize that when one of those things breaks, you're moving to another state.

I think wave/tidal power has a lot of potential, as long as we've got a moon, we're going to have ocean tides, as long as there's tides and warm water/cool water/weather, there'll be waves, and as long as there's waves, there's surf, water rising and subsiding along the coastline.
Water and wave power has HUGE potential, and if you did a triple-hybrid system and included solar, you'd have yottawatts of power(now, that's a yotta watts!), and it'd even be all eco-groovy, and stuff. Designers, get those pencils ready...Nature is Most Powerful, and if you doubt that statement, reference Hurricane Katrina. We've got a perfectly good, self-perpetuating fusion-powered heat and light source, about one A.U. from here, runs 24/7/365 with no maintenance, all we need to do now is read enough books to learn how to utilize it successfully. Finally, why would you want to build a nookilurz in TEXAS, where they have like, tornadoes, and stuff? o0(What was that big noise, and all the light, and stuff? I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto, hmm, come to think of it, is this even still the western hemisphere? Everything looks so SMALL from up here! And, you look positively GLOWING today, Toto! Radiant, even! Heyyyy...why's your fur falling out, there? It almost feels like we're falling...out of the sky...) NO atomic tornadoes, thanks...

 
decora Author Profile Page :
 

I would like to know two things:

1. Will the NRC approve the use of nuclear processing waste as fertilizer to be sprayed on crops, like it did in Oklahoma?

2. Will the NRC allow people to work in Uranium mines without proper ventilation, so that they breathe Radium and wind up with massively inflated rates of lung cancer, like the Dineh miners?

Thank you

 
nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

from the BBC news 2005

Waves 'brought waste to Somalia'

The tsunami crashed through many fishermen's homes
Tsunami waves could have spread illegally dumped nuclear waste and other toxic waste on Somalia's coast, a United Nations spokesman has said.
Nick Nuttall of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) told the BBC that December's tsunami appeared to have broken barrels and scattered waste.

Mr Nuttall said a preliminary UN report had found that Somalis in the northern areas were falling sick as a result.

Some firms have been dumping waste off Somalia's coast for years, the UN says.

It says international companies have been taken advantage of the fact that Somalia had no functioning government from the early 1990s until recently.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4312553.stm

thanks we crave mutated grandkids

 
WindSong Author Profile Page :
 

Only if you like Nationalism...and High Taxes....There are other Inventions for home power suplys...Check out my writing.com account user name epistemology

Rush Is Right

 
nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

Exxon Mobil said Friday record oil prices boosted its fourth-quarter earnings to $11.66 billion, the highest ever operating profit by a U.S. company.

maybe if exxon profits were a tiny bit lower,the US would need nuclear power.

but "dick" cheny was vp.

who would be vp if the US epands nuclear power???

also i support nuclear power then there would no oil rich country that needs to occupied to get special price break or discont

 
nader123 Author Profile Page :
 

for sure nuclear power is the answer

it works for the french, they ship the nuclear west to central africa

you expanad nuclear power in teh USA and ship the nuclear waste to panama and nicaragua, closer than africa

 
JJSchwartz01 Author Profile Page :
 

Nuclear energy as part of the long term energy policy of the US has a role although very limited. A considerable amount of the limits on nuclear energy are political in nature. No one wants to live in the 'shadow' of a nuclear plant no matter how safe it is claimed to be. No one wants a repository for nuclear waste even if the repository is in the middle of nowhere such as Yucca Mountain. Then there is the transportation of nuclear waste and the security issues that are raised. People have become very skeptical of what they are told. But beyond all of the usual arguments against nuclear energy there is an argument that is not often heard. Nuclear plants 'consume' vast quantities of water to cool their reactors. The water used to cool reactors is released back into the river from which the water originated. But the water that is released is heated water. The question that is raised is an environmental one. How will this released heated water affect the aquatic environment down stream from a nuclear plant? I do not believe that this question has been adequately investigated.

 
B2O2 Author Profile Page :
 

There's a great article in Newsweek about Al Gore's continuing education of himself on climate and energy. I wish conservatives would realize that he's out of politics now and it's okay to stop reflexively hating him. They would do well to start emulating him instead.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/220552?from=rss

I found this excerpt especially telling:

[quote]Gore offers a disquisition on how U.S. utility regulations make it more profitable to waste two thirds of the energy in the fuel they burn than to capture waste heat and make it move electrons. But there is also the irrationality factor, which drives him crazy. In a poll, he says, 80 percent of CEOs and CFOs said they would not spend money to make their factories more efficient and save money in the long run if it hurt their next-quarter bottom line. "That," says Gore, "is functionally insane."[/quote]

 
hambone2 Author Profile Page :
 

Nuclear plants may emit zero carbon but the mining and transport of uranium and manufacture and transportation of all nuclear plant components emits around 20 times the carbon of say wind. This should end the debate over any major role for nukes.

 
uawolf1990 Author Profile Page :
 

America won't have an effective nuclear power industry until it stops being mindlessly afraid. We must build safe, reliable power plants and then we must close the fuel cycle by effectively reprocessing spent fuel. If America put a fraction of the money they waste on reality TV every year into developing the state of the art for fuel reprocessing I'd wager we'd be able to virtually eliminate the need for Yucca Mountain storage as well as eliminating the proliferation possibilites inherent in nuclear fuel reprocessing. But as long as the governing policy is radicalized fear by know-nothings in Hollywood, then forget it.

 
ElectricUtilityInsider Author Profile Page :
 

Success in a carbon-constrained world requires that we meet and even exceed the projections for nuclear power. The key will be making the cost manageable. It is incredible that our vision for future costs is such that so many utilities are embracing nuclear and the 10+ cents per kilowatt hour that the output will cost around the clock, but it still seems a good investment in an uncertain future. We simply cannot put all our eggs in the natural gas basket and need a reliable energy source until we can develop sufficient renewable sources, which I think we can in the long run.

Looking at the European experience, if we commit to nuclear we ought to be able to get the cost down. We have enough demand for new plants that we should not have to limit ourselves to a single design, with diversity of design and supplier being as important in diversity of generation types.

 
mharwick Author Profile Page :
 

France gets 80% of their power from nuclear. Obama is not pushing nuclear for some reason that smells like love for the Middle East oil producers and Hugh Chavez, but that's another story. Obama likes electric cars and high speed trains, but is stingy on providing start up funds for the trains. If he had given GM a contract to produce hybrid electrics to replace our govt. fleet, and build high speed, the bailout would not have been needed and millions of jobs would have been created.

 
morphex Author Profile Page :
 

I certainly think that the European experience is important and relevant, if adjustment is made for the influence of corporate lobbyists in Europe as against those in the US. In the US, however, we have our own history that excludes, as far the public knows, anyway, the influence of the nuclear industry. I refer to the history of nuclear powered vessels in the US Navy. The Navy seems to have forged a splendid record. Perhaps USN practices should become standard practices, enforceable by law and criminal sanctions, for private industrial undertakings as well. No? Oh. Why not?

 
sero1 Author Profile Page :
 

I think a big mistake made by our government and proponents of nuclear power is not presenting Yucca Mountain as an "interim" waste repository as opposed to a final venue. I have heard so many of my friends and associates say that the biggest obstacle to the public's embrace of nuclear power for electricity is the waste problem. Actually, to the knowledgeable and well informed, spent nuclear fuel can be easily and safely dispositioned - much more than chemical wastes that the public accepts as innocuous or lower risk. Further, if we adequately funded R&D of recycling spent fuel in a new generation of fast-burner reactors, we might reduce the quantities of nuclear waste by 90%, hence lessening the urgency to find a repository. The public needs to be better informed...hear that, government, politicians and nuclear skeptics?

 
sero1 Author Profile Page :
 

I think a big mistake made by our government and proponents of nuclear power is not presenting Yucca Mountain as an "interim" waste repository as opposed to a final venue. I have heard so many of my friends and associates say that the biggest obstacle to the public's embrace of nuclear power for electricity is the waste problem. Actually, to the knowledgeable and well informed, spent nuclear fuel can be easily and safely dispositioned - much more than chemical wastes that the public accepts as innocuous or lower risk. Further, if we adequately funded R&D of recycling spent fuel in a new generation of fast-burner reactors, we might reduce the quantities of nuclear waste by 90%, hence lessening the urgency to find a repository. The public needs to be better informed...hear that, government, politicians and nuclear skeptics?

 
rpvt Author Profile Page :
 

We don't devote enough resources in this country to keep bridges and roads in repair, and we are suppose to be confident that reactors build now will still be safe in 10 years? I have no confidence at all.

 
dandb3 Author Profile Page :
 

Start with the fact that we now have 104 reactors safely providing 20% of our energy with no "near term" waste problem. Of course we should accelerate the building of new "standard" plants while we resolve the waste problem. Furthermore if the government ordered a number of them, of a standard design, and then RESOLD them at cost to the utilities we would get cheaper power than by having each utility buy them individually. They would also be safer with simpler approval, training and maintenance costs.

 
gneubeck Author Profile Page :
 

America originated nuclear power; and yet, we produce only 20% of our domestic electrical energy from the nuclear option while countries such as France produce 78%, and have programmed significantly more, dramatically reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. The safety issue on nuclear power is a non-sequitur given the hundreds of thousands of operating hours on U.S. Naval nuclear propulsion systems without incident; and, critically important to our National Security is the accommodation of a distributed electrical grid thru the multiplication of dispersed nuclear power facilities. But yet, LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS in our society THAT COMPRISE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE BASE OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY have for 30yrs. managed to bring America's nuclear industry to a standstill. In the absence of large-scale nuclear energy the plug-in automobile will not reach its full potential.

If the Global Warming enthusiasts were sincere in their intent to reduce CO2 emissions they would be actively promoting the significantly expanded use of Nuclear Power for America's electrical energy generation, not only to reduce CO2 emissions; but, as well, to dramatically reduce our dependence on imported energy resources; and, to provide a distributed grid with dormant interconnectivity.

To be certain, we CAN and we MUST achieve total energy independence; but, our Nation can only extricate ourselves from this self imposed dilemma by a broad-based, comprehensive NATIONAL ENERGY STRATEGY that BLENDS all of the elements of: conservation; major increases in transportation efficiencies, such as increased mileage standards; exploitation of our indigenous petroleum resources, both oil and natural gas; fast-tracking of regulatory criteria; a significant expansion of our refinery facilities; major investments in nuclear energy; supplementation of our electrical grid with solar, wind (although many early proponents will recoil when confronted with the associated, highly vulnerable, distribution grid), geo-thermal, and hydro technologies; and, a major investment in Research and Development to bring a Hydrogen and Fusion based economy to fruition. Unfortunately, to dig ourselves out of this self-created coffin-corner will require TIME. Time which simply means that, in the interim, we must protect our access to unstable Middle East suppliers until we bring our own assets on line. The latter exigency which could readily be scuttled by the Cut-And-Run crowd on Iraq; and, now Afghanistan. The regional chaos which would be precipitated by an Iranian regional hegemony subsequent to a precipitous American withdrawal from the region would make the current cost-escalation in energy supplies from the Middle East seem like the Golden Age of Yesteryear by comparison; and, most certainly would induce a much wider conflict/conflagration. The myopia of the Left on these circumstances is astounding. As history has repeatedly taught with grim consequences, PEACE and STABILITY are won only THRU STRENGTH; and, NOT THRU the nebulous psychosis of HOPE.

However, with the current composition of the U.S. Congress, which believes that we can TAX and INFLATE our way out of our Energy Crisis, our Nation doesn't stand a prayer of extricating ourselves from this self imposed dilemma. Simply review the Senate action on HR 3121 where Harry Reid and his minions, which at the time included Clinton and Obama, in sync with the Left-Wing Fringe Elements in our society, voted AGAINST the opening of a miniscule portion of ANWAR; AGAINST shale oil extraction of which America has the equivalent of ten Saudi Arabia's in recoverable reserves; and, AGAINST accelerated efforts to facilitate the gasification of America's abundant reserves of coal. Have you ever noticed that it's always a Democrat telling us that there is no way that we can get there from here? I would say, they're precisely correct. If we're prohibited from ever leaving the starting line we in-fact will never get there from here. Meanwhile, as a consequence of multiple impediments imposed by the Democrat Party to the resolution of America's energy crisis: our citizens welfare; our economy; and, our very viability as a Nation remain in jeopardy. Had our Democrat Party been in control in Brazil, they never would have discovered the largest off-shore oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere. Thank God that none of our Founding Fathers were members of today's equivalent of the Democrat Party or we would still be paying exorbitant taxes to the British Crown. Greg Neubeck

 
katie6 Author Profile Page :
 

Of course we should go nuclear. It is clean and much safer than 40 years ago. Wind power in a nation this huge is not practical except in very local areas. We have massive natural gas deposits here and in Canada enough to last for hundreds of years also. TY=he foot dragging by this administration to let us develop our own resources is unforgivable.There is growing and substantiated scientific evidence that the global warming is in fact wrong. Those financially involved in green technology tied to the White House have sought to silence this information. Going green in the 90'S ruined the economy of Spain and drove energy prices into the sky. Cap and trade must be stopped.

 
rcubedkc Author Profile Page :
 

It's my understanding that the US nuclear power plants do not reuse fuel rods as often as is done in Europe. This has created an enormous amount of nuclear waste which remain extremely dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years.

There is NO SAFE way to store these byproducts.

This from the NRC itself at: http://www.nrc.gov/waste/high-level-waste.html

Because of their highly radioactive fission products, high-level waste and spent fuel must be handled and stored with care. Since the only way radioactive waste finally becomes harmless is through decay, which for high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored and finally disposed of in a way that provides adequate protection of the public for a very long time.

 
alance Author Profile Page :
 

The U.S. can learn nothing from Europe - we are too stupid. We have allowed popular culture to define the issue - nuclear energy is dangerous and evil. The movie - The China Syndrome (1979) had a huge negative impact along with Mr. Burns, the evil overlord of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant on the TV show - The Simpsons.

Congress has created a huge regulatory mess that requires many years to design, permit, construct and bring next-generation nuclear power plants online. Congress encourages greedy lawyers to delay construction indefinitely for alleged environmental issues. The high risk of delays strongly discourages investors and utilities from building new nuclear power plants.

Congress also prohibits off shore drilling for oil and gas. The rest of the world thinks we are incredibly stupid - and we are for allowing Congress to prevent a rational energy policy from developing.

 
RobertLG Author Profile Page :
 

Nuclear fuel can solve the enery problems. Newly developed micro or mini reactors are being developed that are not dangerous and can be very competitive in costs. This should be fast tracted by the NRA. Very promising solution.

 
OldCoot1 Author Profile Page :
 

It seems ironic to me that the country that is the leader in nuclear research that has the largest nuclear navy and the largest stockpile of nuclear wepons has all but abandon neuclear power plants. The ony reason I can think of is that the fossil fuel industries have fostered this public fear of nuclear energy to protect themselves from competition.

 
eaglehawkaroundsince1937 Author Profile Page :
 

Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt that said "Speak softly but carry a big stick"?
We Americans have a big stick and had to use it once before to save our arsses. Thanks Harry Truman.

 
 
 
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