America’s Energy Future Must Be Nuclear (And its Clean too)


It seems as though the GOP has come to the consensus that environmentalists are no more than tree hugging, oil hating, windmill builders that have come to take away jobs, and that anything that comes out of their mouths can be disregarded. Many conservatives do not realize that clean energy is not limited to algae. There is a source of energy more efficient than solar power, wind power, algae,and natural gas combined, and it happens to be nuclear.

Natural Gas Usage

 

Instead of complaining about gas being $4 a gallon I believe a push to expand the number of America’s nuclear power plants. I believe it would, or at least should, be an area in which both parties agree on. Also, did I mention that Bill Gates is a strong supporter of the future of nuclear power?

wind power

wind power (Photo credit: twicepix)

Thankfully the movement towards nuclear energy is finally starting to pick up, although I do not know much about the negative impacts this brings. If anybody has any information regarding this type of energy I strongly encourage you to help inform me!

 

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25 Responses to America’s Energy Future Must Be Nuclear (And its Clean too)

  1. Nuclear power is very expensive. No nuclear plants operate without substantial government subsidies. No nuclear power plant is financially viable with out these subsidies. Nuclear power plants also have the unfortunate characteristic of becoming more expensing the longer they are operational; they have increasing costs pertaining to the disposal/storage of nuclear waste.

  2. willradik says:

    Nuclear doesn’t have the carbon problem of coal or other fossil fuels, but it’s not clean energy. The big limiting problem right now with nuclear is the waste. The book The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, has a pretty good comprehensive appraisal of nuclear waste and its future implications. Scary stuff. However… it’s thought that much more efficient nuclear technology with little to no waste may soon be within our grasp: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/all/1

  3. azleader says:

    I suspect folks near Chernobyl or Fukushima would argue that nuclear is not entirely clean energy. And then there is still the pesky problem of what to do with spent radioactive fuel rods. That still hasn’t been resolved.

    Personally, I favor hydrogen gas as the most economically feasible permanent solution for future energy needs. It works like propane, comes from water and its exhaust byproduct is water.

    That is as environmentally clean as clean can be. Water is abundant, too, covering 70% of the Earth’s surface.

    It requires no R&D development. Its already mature technology and been in use for about a century. Retrofitting internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline is neither difficult nor expensive.

    Hydrogen powered cars and hydrogen filing stations are already in use on major highways in Scandinavia. In the U.S. government supported experimental hydrogen gas filling stations have been installed… in California, of course. lol!!!

    Try putting a nuke plant in your Chevy and see how that goes. 😉

  4. I don’t have numbers off the top of my head but I think that there is research that shows that without government money it is more expensive that other forms of power.

  5. A. is correct, nuclear is govt subsidized or unsustainable. Also, nuclear does not solve the $4 a gallon for petrol that you argued in your initial posting. Gasoline and electricity are different topics altogether.

    – Me

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Except it would provide growth in electric car companies, would it not? Nissan has the Leaf, Toyota has the Prius, and there are many more companies that could expand the industry with the rising gas prices. Thus eliminating the “problem” of high gas prices.

      • Agreed. Lower electrical costs could theoretically cut into the gas market in metro areas, but that does not mean a necessary price reduction in petrol. Rural areas are not a very viable candidate for electric only vehicles. In the big cities, this could be very cost effective. Paris is a prime example of this, but people rarely commute in a city like that. I have visited this city numerous times and those who live and work in the downtown area drive plug in cars. I am not down on alternative energy, just realistic about the effective uses available in present day. Driving a Prius or a Leaf is also not a strictly electric vehicle, so while you are increasing mileage, you are not taking it off the “grid”. These vehicles also tend to cater to the small family types, making them (at least for now) that much more unavailable to a certain market.

        – Me

      • Ethan Hill says:

        Very good observations. I do not think the world is ready for alternative energy, and out of curiosity, what do you think would happen in countries in the Middle East if the world no longer had need for oil?

      • Most of the oil producing countries are in deep poverty. I spent 8 years in the Middle East and there is a select few (I mean FEW) that control the wealth in those countries. I think those in charge would lash out at their own people in an attempt to remain powerful. Thing is in Muslim countries, everything is God’s will, so the masses would simply chock it up as God wanted that to happen. Just my two pennies.

        – Me

  6. Nguyen says:

    I believe that we need to push for alternative energy sources while not stopping drilling.
    As for nuclear power, I am not opposing it.
    However, I believe we need to be careful and plan very well to prevent incidents like Fukushima.
    I live in Orange County CA (earthquake country) and quite close to San Onofre power plant.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I absolutely agree, the government has not done a very good job regulating the nuclear power plants it already possesses. Which is one of the reasons I am skeptical of the Govt.’s ability to handle such important decisions. Such things tempt me back into the libertarian circle of thinking that private corporations are the best way to go, but considering how frequently corporations blow off safety concerns in order to increase profits, I am undecided as to whether the private sector or the Govt. is more equipped to handle the issue.

      • Nguyen says:

        I think there is a need to have a balance between govt regulations and free enterprise. Not enough regulations may lead to lack of safety. Too much regulation will cause difficulties for business.

  7. benbinbenben says:

    i’m quite pro nuclear, though sadly my father developed leukemia and asbestosis probably as a result of the work he did in the late 50’s and early sixties in energy. yes it is a greener energy in many ways, and well managed, it will not be an issue but for our descendants maybe more so with the mis managed waste dumped in oceans etc. the issue forgotten about is in sourcing the raw materials, huge areas of outstanding natural beauty are laid to waste,just like when we dig for gold and worse platinum and now the rare metals. large areas of my country were destroyed in coal mining and slate quarrying, and governments think that seeding it to grow grass absolves responsibility for the regeneration of natural habitats. anyway i can go on and on. but i think my point is in there somewhere. lol. have a good day thanks for liking my blog.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Out of curiosity, which country? I am glad you are supportive of nuclear power, and I am sorry to hear about your father. There are, without a doubt, many problems that need to be solved, and many improvements that need to be made to the system. I think that the sooner we start developing solutions the better.

  8. Jesse Parent says:

    From researching Fukushima, one of the things I most take away is a sense of “nuclear power would be a lot better if governments (or somebody) strongly regulates it”. The amount of opportunities that TEPCO had before hand, with internal and external warnings, simply points to irresponsibility.

    I understand why Bill Gates is very curious about nuclear power, as it seems like one of the best ways to get what his wish would be – when he spoke at TED recently – a clean, cheap, good source for fuel. (Link soon).

    And as far as gas prices, all I have to say is, I don’t think they are ever going down in a substantial way. We’re lucky if we in America can hold it to 4$ a gallon, which is where it is right now in New York. But I don’t think people generally understand why we are ‘lucky’ with that price. Peak oil is the quick answer, and I’ve written about that a lot on my website recently.

    As far as what the US should do about Nuclear, I’d like to see more of it provided there is an extremely severe auditing process and the strictest safety measures possible. Taking chances or lingering with safety upgrades, as in Japan, is not a wise move.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I absolutely agree with you. It only makes sense that Barack Obama would push for nuclear energy because it would make electric cars even cheaper to run than they already are. It would help justify the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline because it would help stimulate the demand for cars that do not emit greenhouse gases. We could create tens of thousands of jobs at nuclear power plants, not to mention the jobs that would be added to the private sector to manufacture electric cars, as they would be cheaper than gasoline cars.

      Thanks for the comment! I am adding you to my blogroll, and will be a frequent visitor myself to your site.
      Best of luck,
      Ethan Hill

  9. As you can see, the immediate problems the nations faces in generating more energy via nuclear are largely voiced by the same environmentalists with whom you seem to associate yourself. These people can resort to the same fear tactics that they use to dissuade you of EVERYTHING they disapprove of, but if you’re truly interested in the environmental implications, safety and efficiency of nuclear power you should research France’s program as they currently produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-80% of their power via nuclear.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Really? That’s extremely interesting, but not surprising. When I was in Rome I was surprised to see how many Smartcars there were, so it makes sense that European countries would be more interested in nuclear power. The environmentalists who do oppose nuclear power is one of the reasons that I felt the need to post this. It makes no sense to restrict clean energy, especially if one claims to be an environmentalist.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • I admire your objectivity.
        Socrates said that until we admit our ignorance and address it, we are incapable of attaining knowledge. By that standard you’re destined for great things in life.

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