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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some Really Good News

Some Really Good News

I read some very good, very important news in The Washington Times of September 25, 2007. It is far, far more important than all the huffing and puffing and wringing of hands by politicians who say they seek energy independence, but then pass an energy bill that does nothing whatsoever to get us down that road. 

The big news is that nuclear energy is making a comeback. Quoting from the Times, "‘NRG Energy, Inc. will submit the first application for a new nuclear reactor in the US in nearly 30 years,’ the company’s chief executive said yesterday." Hooray!

But there’s more good news. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission went on to say that they expect a minimum of six more applications this year by the Constellation Energy Group, Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, and Dominion Resources, Inc., among others. I have been waiting for this development for years. I always thought it was inevitable.

Nuclear power is the safest, least expensive source of electrical power in the world and it is completely nonpolluting. Moreover, the US has abundant uranium resources. That means we don’t need to go to Saudi Arabia for our needs.

Our nuclear power plants have always been safe. The nonscientific types always wave their arms and point to the Three Mile Island problem. But in fact, no one died at Three Mile Island and no one was hurt. American corporations, together with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have always put safety first. If our safeguards had been in place at Chernobyl, even that melt down would not have caused the devastation it did.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out several years back, much of the problem with nuclear energy was caused by the companies themselves who insisted on designing every power plant from the ground up. In other words, a power company could not go to Westinghouse and buy a nuclear power plant like they would buy a gas turbine. Each one was unique and thus the price of construction and the time for approval by the NRC was incredibly long. It would be like you and I having a car designed from scratch each time we bought a car. Instead of costing $30,000 it would cost $300,000.

It appears the nuclear power industry has learned that lesson and will be building nuclear power plants to replace the polluting fossil fuel plants across our nation. This is a huge step toward energy independence, less pollution, sufficient electrical supply (instead of rationing), and controlling the cost of electricity.

Again, I say hooray for the engineers and business leaders who once again are providing a practical and realistic solution to our energy needs. Now, if we can only beat the kooky politicians off with a stick.

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