If you wonder whether what is happening at Fukushima in Japan is
having an impact on the future of nuclear power, it is, at least in
terms of how people are talking about nuclear power.
I just found a story that highlights the hurdles nuclear energy
was having anyway. Surprisingly, most of its problems are not
political. They may be a question of economics.
That’s why some outside experts have long thought
the nuclear renaissance was overblown, even before Fukushima. In a
2007 report for the Council on Foreign Relations, Charles Ferguson
noted that all of the 104 reactors currently operating in the
United States will likely need to be decommissioned by mid-century.
Replacing those reactors (so simply preserving the status quo)
would mean building a new reactor every four or five months for 50
years—already a “daunting” pace.
The New Republic has the goods on a nuclear future, written
by Bradford Plummer.
When we had the story about the NASCAR
legislation in Olympia, we made mention of biomass
legislation state Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, put forward this
session. The first question from a commenter, Mr. Mikey, was
“Huh? Expanding biomass fuels? What does that mean?”
Actually, the bill would expand “what qualifies as biomass
Today Senate Democrats dropped a press release to explain the
bill and trumpet its success: The explanation follows:
Hello? Mom, it’s Jay Inslee.
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee will be holding a telephone town hall
sometime today. Phone calls will go out to residents in the First
Congressional District. No inbound phone calls.
In the meantime the congressman says Barack Obama’s plan to
drill offshore “doesn’t make an energy policy.”
The idea that we are going to solve our energy and economic
problems by drilling offshore is not supported by fact.
Evidence should inform our national energy policy and evidence
tells us that new drilling won’t satiate our hunger for foreign
oil. The United States has a mere 2 percent of the world’s
oil reserve while consuming a quarter of the world’s oil supply.
New drilling won’t change this fact.”
Inslee calls for caps or prices on carbons to help alternative
The press release follows.
This morning, assuming the county commissioners’ briefing agenda
holds true, the commissioners have discussed fuel in two ways. One
conversation is in regards to recommendations being made by an
energy conservation commission. The other discussion is the
impact of oil prices on the Public Works department. Chris Dunagan
In a related note, did you know U.S. fuel consumption was
down 3 percent during the first half of this year? I’ve been
interested in Derek Sheppard’s hypermiling experiment
and I suggest after this that you
should get interested too.