Why the Nuclear Energy Plan Makes Sense
And how to profit from it.
The Department of Energy has approved an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to assist the Southern Company (SO) in building two nuclear reactors near Waynesboro, Georgia.
This would mark the first time new reactors have been constructed in the United States since 1973.
An article in today's New York Times says that "[President Obama's] embrace of nuclear energy has drawn the ire of environmental groups that have long opposed any return to a reliance on nuclear power."
But, it hasn't "drawn the ire" of environmental groups like the Environmental Defense Fund, the Pew Center for Climate Change, or Friends of the Earth in Britain -- which, in 2004, forced longtime board member Bishop Hugh Montefiore to resign from the organization after he wrote a pro-nuclear article in a church newsletter.
The fact is, no single approach will accomplish the goal of reducing the impact we have on the environment.
As University of Chicago professor and former special advisor to the director of Argonne National Laboratory for National Security, R. Stephen Berry, wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "We can't afford to bet on only one roulette number."
Take a look at some of the other names attached to the growing pro-nuclear movement:
- The World Wildlife Fund Australia's CEO, Greg Bourne, who ordered a statement opposing any nation utilizing nuclear power to be removed from the WWF Australia website.
- Gaia theorist James Lovelock, who believes that nuclear energy is the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change.
- Norris McDonald, president of the African-American Environmental Association, who said, "If we believe that global warming is a real threat to our planet, then the very best way to provide baseload electricity is through emission-free nuclear power."
- Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace.
In 2006, Moore wrote:
In the early 1970s, when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change. Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of US emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power.
The numbers support the talk of carbon emissions reduction. Nearly 700 million additional tons of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere every year without nuclear power -- the equivalent of the exhaust from 100 million cars.
The Clean Air Council reports that coal plants are responsible for 64% of sulfur dioxide emissions, 26% of nitrous oxides and 33% of mercury emissions in the United States.
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