[asa] Nuclear energy

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Thu Aug 27 2009 - 08:32:35 EDT

  Ian, if you could wave a magic wand, what policies, regulations, or legislation would you change in order to maximize nuclear energy in the U.S.?

  In short, give nuclear energy the same tax credits and other incentives that are given to other carbon-free energy. Nuclear does not need big federal subsidies to compete economically. In fact the federal aid to nuclear over the past 25 years has been less even than that to fossil energy, in the form of various tax credits etc. Actually the 2005 Energy Policy Act does most of what is needed for nuclear, but so far the provisions have not been fully funded by congress and DOE has been very slow to put the regulations in place to implement them.
An example of what is being done wrong, is that the carbon trading scheme that Congress has been discussing (although has not passed I think) is being combined with a "renewable energy" mandate that requires a certain fraction of electricity generation to be by "renewable" sources. That sounds good until you find out that nuclear is specifically excluded from that mandate. It does not count as "renewable". That's crazy. What ought to count is not some nominal "renewable" rating but __sustainability__. Nuclear is sustainable for thousands of years. Much "renewable" energy is not in fact sustainable. For example much biomass energy is not sustainable; specifically bio-ethanol is definitely not sustainable, and probably uses more energy than it generates, yet it would be included. Trouble is that quite a number of now powerful politicians have made it their mission to stop nuclear energy or nuclear waste disposal for so long that they can't bring themselves to reevaluate whether the new situation ought to dictate a different view.


Ian Hutchinson


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Received on Thu Aug 27 08:33:29 2009

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