Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nuclear Power, Should We Be Using It?

I was watching the Nevada Democratic Debate last night and the topic of energy was raised. Nuclear energy was of big concern because Yucaa Mountain (where they plan to store nuclear waste) is located in southern Nevada. You can bet the people of Nevada have a strong feeling about nuclear energy and if we should be using it. From the candidates responses, they all seemed to be opposed to the building of Yucca Mountain and to the building of anymore nuclear power plants in the US. I know there is a huge problem with getting rid of the waste, but can we afford, with all our looming energy/climate problems, to not look at nuclear power as an option until renewable sources become profitable? I don't know, that's why I'm taking the class. As an interesting note, Great Britain announced its new energy policy on the 10th of January. It included support for the building of new nuclear plants. The link is below if you want to check out the article.

http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=821240&story_id=10498995

1 comment:

David said...

Great post. A lot of people involved in the debate about nuclear energy aren't informed about the mechanics of nuclear power and its benefits. Its not a perfect solution, but it offers a reliable, safe, and extremely well regulated source of power. If you have doubts, look no further than the U.S. Navy which has operated nuclear reactors for over 50 years.

Regarding the Democratic debates, I went to a John Edwards rally over the summer and became dissatisfied with him after his adamant refusal to support an increase in nuclear energy. I'm not a one topic voter, but I feel so strongly about the benefits nuclear power holds that wrote him off.

Ultimately I think education of the public will help to alleviate the barriers of building new reactors in the U.S. There is a stigma against nuclear energy after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, but education about why there were disasters involving the reactors needs to be done. Additionally, advances in reactor design, waste management, and heavy regulation by the NRC have addressed those problems.

I really believe that nuclear energy should be looked at seriously for the future.