Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Resurgence of Nuclear Power

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Recovery and Reinvestment act.

It is an amazing time, this is our generation's "New Deal" and, according to the official graph (shown above), it is working. The Administration has been working hard to promote the plan whose main goal is to create jobs. An equally important aspect of this is the promotion of American industry, specifically the "green economy." Currently there is a huge effort to get the message out there;

In fact, a new aspect of the "War on the Economy" Campaign is that the Department of Energy, with the blessing/instruction of Obama, the DOE is to announce a new loan program that would guarantee the funds for the building of new Nuclear Energy sites in the south. While some "Critics of the loan guarantee program called the award another industry "bailout..."and "The last thing Americans want is another government bailout for a failing industry, but that's exactly what they're getting from the Obama administration," (said by Ben Schreiber, an analyst for Friends of the Earth, in a statement) it is hardly a "failing industry." The fact of the matter is that the Nuclear Power industry suffered a horrible public image blast after various melt downs and problems with managing the waste. While those problems still exist, they are no where as harmful as they were. If one looks back as far as 2002, there is a report by M. Saito and T. Sawada entitled; Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems Toward Zero Release of Radioactive Wastes, discussing the endeavors of the 2000 scientific summits. The point is, there have already been huge strides in the market and it could be a reusable safe energy source if we put the funding and effort into it. Keep in mind, Nuclear power releases no Carbon. Still retractors abound; (from previously mentioned article)

Michael Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, said the loan program is a subsidy for nuclear power.

"This would be a repudiation of Obama's own campaign statements against subsidies for nuclear power, and the implementation of the worst energy policy excesses of the Bush administration and failed presidential candidate Senator John McCain," Mariotte said.

We have to remember that the power needs of America are not going to be met by the current technologies of geothermal, wind, biomass, or solar combined. Even each of those technologies have their own environmental downsides. Nuclear appears to be aiding Obama's Climate change efforts and actually furthering the goals of the reinvestment act;

Carol Browner, Obama's top energy and climate adviser, said she was hopeful about progress on energy and climate legislation that is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.

"I'm always optimistic, as is the president," Browner told Reuters Insider in an interview.

"We're working hard, and we're encouraged by the conversations that are going on. Obviously this is very important legislation and we're going to do everything we can to make it happen," she said.

Mr. Obama said, “Make no mistake: whether it is nuclear energy, or solar or wind energy, if we fail to invest in these technologies today, we’ll be importing them tomorrow.”

And that is accurate. We either are going to have to "drill baby drill" or utilize one of the dirtiest yet most abundant and still dangerous of energy technologies; coal. For now, nuclear power appears to be a reasonable alternative to Oil and Coal to offset our "Dirty" energy technologies while still supplying America with the energy it craves. Hopefully new and innovative technologies that are truly green and renewable will come soon.

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