Not Nuclear, Not Now
After reading our recent post about the controversy over the potential use of nuclear power (could it be clean and efficient, or is it an accident waiting to happen?), reader Mikhail Capone dared to defy us! (Exactly what we were hoping for.) Providing a link to an article at uber-liberal (and equally lovable) TomPaine.commonsense by Patrick C. Doherty, that he says "debunks" the idea of nuclear "pretty well," Mikhail tells us he's made up his mind. Following, a few rational excerpts from the article. Like we said, everything's up for debate, so let us know what you think, too.
"Any new reactors built in the next 10 years would merely replace aging reactors, doing nothing to reduce our oil dependence. In essence, the industry is merely fighting to preserve its 20 percent share of the domestic electricity market.
To do that, the industry is employing a cynical 'bait-and-switch' campaign. Industry advocates are promising the safety, cost and oil-replacing potential of generation-after-next "pebble-bed" reactors, but these designs still need years of research and development. In the meantime, the nuclear industry is working with its congressional allies to merely replace 30 and 40-year old reactors It's all smoke and mirrors.
In reality, we won't see pebble-bed reactors replacing oil for 20 years —which may be the Bush administration's goal "
"Nuclear power can't deliver on these requirements [of clean and flexible energy sources] Nuclear power does nothing to fix [our] fractured system. In fact, it would only reinforce this inefficient system by creating a new generation of massive plants located far from the customers they serve. Consumers would have little choice and the industry would have government over a barrel.
There are better answers. Technology and design advances have opened up a new way to organize our energy grid that encourages high-quality energy and healthy markets. Right now, small natural gas turbines combined with better grid design can capture much of the wasted energy by distributing clean generating capacity closer to consumers. Instead of putting one massive power plant tens of miles from the customers and taking five years to build, 'distributed' micro-turbine power plants of any size can drop in incremental capacity onto the grid where it's needed when it's needed...
The nuclear industry wants to abort that vision of a clean, efficient and distributed energy future before it is born "
For the full article, please click on ::TomPaine.commonsense [by MO]