Obama is doing something that on the surface sounds like a great idea, pushing nuclear power. Except his alleged support for it is fraught with typical anti-science stupidity this administration is becoming famous for.
Obama singled out nuclear power in his State of the Union address, and his spending plan for the next budget year is expected to include billions of more dollars in federal guarantees for new nuclear reactors. This emphasis reflects both the political difficulties of passing a climate bill in an election year and a shift from his once cautious embrace of nuclear energy.
He’s now calling for a new generation of nuclear power plants.
During the campaign, Obama said he would support nuclear power with caveats. He was concerned about how to deal with radioactive waste and how much federal money was needed to support construction costs. Those concerns remain; some say they’ve gotten worse.
His administration has pledged to close Yucca Mountain, the planned multibillion-dollar burial ground in the Nevada desert for high-level radioactive waste. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been criticized for his slow rollout of $18.5 billion in loan guarantees to spur investment in new nuclear power plants, and the administration killed a Bush-era proposal to reprocess nuclear fuel.
Yes, he wants to close down the only storage site in the US designed to hold waste. A site that’s over 100 miles from a major city (Las Vegas) and which has been studied to death. The best argument they can use against it is in some hypothetical earthquake the materials could be pushed to the surface from where it would have been buried 100s of feet below the ground. If there was an earthquake like that, nuclear waste would be the least of your concerns. But logic and hysterics are never companions.
The government spent $38 billion dollars building the site after years of feasibility studies, but spendthrift Obama wants to close it while at the same time claiming he is for Nuclear Power.
It’s taken decades for so called greens to come to the conclusion more educated people already knew, that nuclear power is the cleanest man made energy source, more powerful than anything other than fossil fuels. And cleaner than any other. Unlike hydro electric dams or windmills, wildlife isn’t harmed by it.
The 104 nuclear reactors in operation in 31 states provide only 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. But they are responsible for 70 percent of the power from pollution-free sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams.
Now that’s bang for the buck. The high costs of reactors has more to do with fighting off all the NIMBY and “green” lawsuits that come with building one.
The nuclear waste issue is the only major problem and it would be dealt with if we had Yucca Mountain. But Obama wants it closed.
His push for Nuclear power, coupled with green ideologue, Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s slow roll out of loan guarantees for reactors, an attempt to woo Republicans and Independents in an election year. That’s not going to happen over an issue like this. Especially when he is screwing up so badly in so many other ways.
UPDATE: A more detailed version of this article is on Big Journalism now.