06 February, 2007

Yucca Mountain and Edwards

Interesting post on Yucca Mountain and John Edwards stand on it.

In defense of Edwards there are concerns about the long term viability of any site that stores large amounts of very long lived waste. The post's authors are right in pointing out the advantages of nuclear power and in emphasising that distributed long term storage really isn't a viable option but I wouldn't expect any politician to understand these arguments completely.

There are a lot of studies and plans that have been aggressively researched regarding the Yucca storage location and most have reinforced its potential viability but residents have legitimate doubts and rights that should be addressed.

I doubt Edwards realizes that continued operation with local storage isn't viable for much more than another 50 years. Failure to resolve the issue will result in shutdown of the facilities (which is exactly the goal of many ignorant activists). The loss of nuclear power as a source of energy would result in the need to replace 20% of the Nations base load power supply. That would require 1 Rhode Island of solar power (and even then only during the day during the summer)
Another Cubic mile of oil a year (in addition to the one we currently use) along with attendant CO2 emissions over 100 Coal power plants (again with CO2 and other pollutants) tens of thousands of wind turbines (as long as they are not off the Cape)

You get the point.

Most people (let alone politicians who are bombarded by activist lobbies) really don't understand the role that base load nuclear fission energy already plays in the US. The US version of light water reactors have the best safety and environmental record of any industry anywhere ever for the amount of energy produced and total time of operations. Pebble beds will be even better. Somehow we have to get that through to the politicians.

My advice if you don't like what the candidates are saying write to them. They probably won't read it of course but if their staff is any good they will and not discard it. Enough people write and the message will get to the candidate.

In any case it is a great blog with lots of good data.

Please Digg It

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