Obama wants more nuclear reactor?
January 31, 2010 6:07pm CST
There has been a concern in some quarters regarding the program of President Barack Obama for cleaner fuels and sustainable energy needs of the country. They said that his position on nuclear power during the campaign was more of a concern on the waste disposal and therefore it is at the bottom of his list as alternative for fossil fuel dependence. They said that President Obama is now singing a new tune. As quoted, his words are: "means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country." That came from his State of the Union Address. Reports said that plans for the federal guarantee for new nuclear reactors are included in the next budget year. I believe that the putting up of new nuclear reactors would just create higher risks for the United States. They would add to the security concerns for the country. I believe that some more alternatives other than nuclear power must be explored. Regards
2 people like this
• United States
1 Feb 10
That's not the only song he's been singing differently! I think he's going to find more opposition to building nuclear power reactors than developing solar or wind power, but since when has that stopped him? I agree that nuclear reactors will create higher risks as far as national security is concerned, too.
• Carlisle, England
1 Feb 10
He's doing exactly what our PM is doing...and back-tracking on his promises. Our PM states Nuclear Energy as "cleaner energy," an alternative to coal, which is fair enough. I can guarantee though, that if any new Reactors are built there will be huge opposition. People don't even like Wind Turbines (I quite like them) so it will be an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds who have the attitude of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). Sellafield, which isn't too far from here is being de-commissioned but the PM wants another, more efficient Nuclear Power Station, built in its place, as far as I know, thus saving jobs but people from overseas will actually build it..so what will the safety standards be like? A joke, probably!
1 Feb 10
Hi friend Sad to hear that. I just hope that pushing this project does not involved under the table deals with politicians. I read in the news months ago that members of parliament has their own little way of spending government funds in a not so pleasant way. This project involves billions of pounds and the one who will close the deal will be the next Richie Rich. I just hope that government leaders weigh things more carefully. Building a nuclear plant must have consultations specially in the place where it will be built. The government must act as big brother for the people and not like the school bully. Regards
1 Feb 10
There is actually a lot of planning for new reactors worldwide. The real problem is not the safety itself of reactors since 3d generation reactors such as the ap1000 or the epr have failure rato so low that the chances of being killed by an incident in one of those reactors is similar to those of dying struck by a meteor. The problem is mainly the perceived safety of those reactors and the demand of uranium. Uranium, like petroleum is a finite resource, and if breeder technology doesn't start to become economically available, we will see the same problem we are facing with oil now in 10-20 years. It seems a lot of time but considering that a reactor needs at least 5-6 years to be built (see what is happening with the finnish epr), and that its economic life is 50 years, it is not so easy to find someone interested in investing in them. Another important aspect is that in liberalized markets nuclear power seems to be penalized if proper incentives are not provided. So the point if nuclear power is safe is not the real issue. The important aspect to analyze is if the overall cost (plant+waste+nuclear fuel+decommissioning) of nuclear power is really cheaper than the other clean alternatives. We should also consider the long times involved with this option compared to the relatively short times involved with many renowables. We also have to consider that nuclear has the opposite problem of many renowables. Renowables are intermittent sources that can create some problem to the grid, but nuclear can also create problem to the grid for the impossibility to follow the request of electricity. Nuclear power plants always produce almost maximum power, and in offpeak hours that can be a problem too.
• United States
1 Feb 10
I agree--if he's already talking about nuclear reactors, people are going to jump on the bandwagon and try to start making them immediately, ignoring safety and environmental concerns so they can be the first to have them on the market. In the end, we would all suffer. I think a lot more research needs to be done in this field if the government is seriously going to consider this. especially concerning nuclear cleanup and waste disposal.