Forum: Nuclear energy is best clean energy option

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Published: January 20,2010

Tags: clean energy, energy, nuclear power

Working in a nuclear power plant is safer than working in a bank.

Environmentalist and nuclear energy advocate Dr. Patrick Moore cited this conclusion from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics safety information at a nuclear energy forum held at Jackson State University Tuesday.

Moore is well known for being the “sensible environmentalist.” A member of Greenpeace for 15 years, Moore fervently protested nuclear energy until he had a change of heart.

Moore realized that nuclear technology can be used for good or evil but is not itself inherently evil. Car bombs are made of diesel oil, fertilizer and cars, Moore said, but that doesn’t mean we should ban those ingredients.

Since hydroelectricity is only possible in certain geographic regions, nuclear energy is the best proven low-cost and reliable clean energy source for most areas, Moore said.

Moore was the featured speaker at a forum on current nuclear energy policy and the future of advanced nuclear technology for Mississippi and the United States.

The forum was sponsored by Advance Mississippi, a non-profit that supports economically friendly energy policy and fosters energy education.

The panel was moderated by Glen McCullough Jr., Advance Mississippi chairman, and also included Dr. Sam Aceil, Alcorn State University energy program director; Dr. Motice Bruce of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Energy Division; and Donna Jacobs, senior vice president with Entergy Nuclear.

People need baseload energy sources, or reliable energy sources that can provide round-the-clock energy without interruption. The only reliable baseload energy technologies available today are based on fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas or oil; water; and nuclear fuel, Moore said.

In the energy debate, the terms “renewable,” “sustainable” and “clean” are frequently used. Moore thinks “renewable” resources like wind and solar, get too much attention because they are not also “sustainable.”

Energy generated by solar and wind power is intermittent and unreliable, he said. These facilities are only being installed where there are subsidies and mandates. We “squander billions on technologies that don’t make economic sense,” Moore said, noting that hospitals cannot be run on solar or wind-generated power. “Our heads are in the sand.”

Nuclear energy critics often focus on safety fears. Moore said he changed his mind about nuclear energy after his fears about radiation and waste were gone.

For transportation and storage, nuclear waste is put into containers comprised of 80 tons of steel and concrete, Moore said, and the radioactive material can be kept from getting into the environment for 1,000 years.

Moore said the nuclear industry is “one of the safest industries in the world.”

The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear facility in the Ukraine occurred because the plant’s safety system was intentionally turned off for an experiment. The experiment went wrong, leading to 56 deaths and the relocation of thousands of residents.

Despite the 1979 reactor core meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, no one was harmed. The plant’s concrete containment structure performed its function: Preventing radiation from escaping into the environment.

Solutions to the technology problems have been found, Moore said, but problems remain in the political arena: “Nuclear (energy) is a political football that is used for partisan politics on both sides of the isle.”


 

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2 Responses to “Forum: Nuclear energy is best clean energy option”

  1. Robert N. Roland Says:

    Nuclear energy is the safest, cleanest, non-polluting source of energy. And no carbon dioxide. The NRC was formed to desroy the U.S. nuclear power industry. It did. No nuclear reactor power plant built or designed in U.S. in almost 25 years. There are no longer nuclear engineers in america. Japan even makes the nuclear power plants for our submarines & war ships, & the U.S. has to import nuclear fuel from Russia. The Three Mile Island so-called “disaster” was a hugh lie & fraud by the fossil fuel industry & the “news” media. Tha maximium radiaton exposure that ANY person could possibly have receiver is / was one sixth of what you get from a chest xray at your doctor’s office. Nuclear “waste” is no threat, it is partially used uranium. Europe is using it as fuel, MOX (mixed oxide) to power their power plants for decades to come. The NRC is a huge self-serving, self-promoting bureauracy on do-nothings. I had to work with them for a couple years. They did nothing but obstruct getting work done. Other: near impossible to make a bomb of uranium – only 2 have ever been made, one dropped on Japan & China tested one. Bombs are made of Plutonium, the single isotope Pu-239 of the fourteen and Pu doesen’t exist in naure; Pu is made in heavy water reactors. In 1942 when the U.S. first got hands-on of the uranium from the Congo in Africa it determined to keep any country from having it — “the country that controls uranium can rule the world” was the saying. Of course, that wasn’t posible, but now the U.S. (& “The West) tries to keep other countries from having nuclear power, or uranium. Even if you gave a country plutonium metal, that isn’t even the start of the many problems of making a bomb. The “bomb” N.Korea shot was fission of a piece of Pu less than the size of a green pea. A joke.

  2. francis Says:

    I am so impressed with all the latest technology in geothermal energy-it makes so much sense using the natural resources under the earth for clean , efficient and renewable energy.Thanks for the information on your blog.

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