GE, Ecomagination and Nuclear Power
While writing about Toshiba buying Westinghouse, we recalled another company on the green bandwagon, General Electric. We went to their main site and started looking for nukes. Every page has wind power and photovoltaics and ecomagination, but nary a word on nuclear- you have to search. Even the completely separate GEpower website lists nuclear support and equipment but nary a reactor. Eventually one finds in their Corporate Citizenship page that there are 77 GE designed nuclear reactors in seven countries and they still believe in it. (read their position below the fold) This treehugger architect thinks that a few percent increase in efficiency of the design of our cities, buildings and cars is a better investment than any nuclear plant; Others think Nuclear has a role in reducing greenhouse gasesand foreign oil dependence. General Electric and Ecomagination shouldn't get to straddle the fence; if they believe in it they should put it up there with the photovoltaics and wind turbines. Otherwise they are greenwashing. GE is committed to providing products that help solve customer problems and improve the quality of life. However, there are products that remain controversial due to their associated application, misuse or potential for negative environmental impact. While these issues must always be evaluated and monitored, we hope that by illuminating our approach to some of these products, we can increase transparency and diffuse concern around these issues.
Nuclear energy remains a controversial power source due to concerns about safety and the storage of nuclear waste. GE sells many different types of power generation technologies from wind and solar to gas and nuclear. GE’s decision to continue designing nuclear power facilities is based on three facts:
Nuclear power remains an important source of energy, providing 17% of the world’s electricity and energy, and environmental technologies are likely to require a mix of technologies in the future;
GE through service offerings is committed to helping our customers operate boiling water reactors safely and efficiently; and
The generation of electricity from nuclear power doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, making it a current and potential contributor to climate change solutions in the eyes of many. There are 441* operating nuclear reactors globally, 77 of which are GE designed/built boiling water reactors operating in seven countries.