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Archive for Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Nuclear energy

Current hot weather is a reminder of America’s need to increase its use of nuclear-powered electric plants.

August 1, 2006

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This summer's terrifically hot weather may or may not be the proof necessary to verify the global warming theory. Maybe it is a freak of nature or perhaps this could be the tip of the iceberg of what is likely to come in the way of significantly higher temperatures.

One very clear message, however, is the obvious need for greater electrical generating power. City and state officials across the country have called on Americans to exercise greater electrical conservation measures, turning up thermostats for air conditioning, not using certain electrical appliances until after 8 p.m. and other measures to avoid "brown-outs" and severe shortages of electrical power.

Regardless of the uncomfortable heat, it stands to reason that, with expected increases in the U.S. population in the next few decades, there is a critical need for more power plants.

The world's growing appetite for oil, the tremendously high costs of building new conventional power plants, the environmentalists' disdain for coal-fired power plants and the growing government restrictions that add costs to producing power all combine to make nuclear energy a common sense solution to ease the energy crisis.

Nuclear energy is clean and it is safe. It is time government officials give the green light to make the development, construction and operation of nuclear power plants easier and less expensive. This does not mean safety standards should be relaxed, but there needs to be an acknowledgment by government officials that nuclear energy can and should play a significant and growing role in meeting this nation's energy needs.

The demand for energy is going to grow no matter how many conservation measures are taken, either voluntarily or by government edict.

The development and use of nuclear energy is far behind where it should be, and it will take years to get a sufficient number of nuclear plants into a production mode. But the longer the delay, the more serious this country's energy situation will become.

It's far past time for nuclear power to help solve this nation's energy needs.

Comments

KWCoyote 8 years, 4 months ago

I've begged politicians for more than 10 years to fund research on fusion energy. But I heard that in 1994 or 1995, the morons in Congress voted to cancel the funding of the fusion research program at a major East Coast university (Rutgers or Princeton). Since then, Congress has acted with incredible irresponsibility on all kinds of energy conservation and development measures.

I think it is high time for states, universities and perhaps consortiums of utility firms to band together outside of any federal oversight and work their tails off to apply technology that's already been researched, and to fund and research the greatest potential energy resource in sight, controlled nuclear fusion. We need to learn how to do this because if not, we'll be up the creek without a paddle when fossil fuels run low. Fossil fuels also seem to contribute to global warming and a slow-motion climate disaster. Tom Brokaw as well as Gore have made major video productions of this concern. To have a modern society with our current amenities in the future, as well as go into space, we must have an industrial-strengh power supply good for the life of the planet. Fusion energy is IT.

Kansas and other regional states via KU, KSU, U of N, etc and regional utility firms should expend money, time, effort and talent to work as if our lives depend on it to find a way to harness fusion. Our modern living standards if not our lives (or those of our descendants) do depend on our doing so.

If we don't, we'll go through heck and the survivors may end up living in teepees.

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