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June 23, 2002

Nuclear -- Why There's No Other Way

Great Article in American Spectator

I've posted a number of previous items on why, ultimately, nuclear energy is the only way to go and the so-called alternatives aren't. Thanks to Dave Schilling for bringing my attention to "Use the Force," a good article by William Tucker in the May-June issue of American Spectator that puts the case cogently.

As the preamble to the piece summarizes:

Oil's too political. Coal's too dirty.
Solar, wind, hydro -- they're all just green dreams.
Hydrogen is lovely stuff, but it takes energy to make it.
It's time Americans learn to stop worrying and love nuclear power.

Tucker also provides a good update on the remarkable changes that have occurred as a result of nuclear capacity being taken over from the regulated monopoly of public utilities in the 1990s by market-oriented companies, for example: increasing operating capacity from 65% to 90%, thereby adding the equivalent of 23 new nuclear plants to the nation's grid, and reducing operating costs to an all-time low of half what they were in 1990, giving an average of 1.83 cents per kilowatt-hour for nuclear electricity in 2000, as opposed to 2.07 cents for coal, 3.24 cents for oil and 3.52 cents for natural gas.

A run-down also on the new pebble-bed reactor design, currently being tested on-line in Germany and South Africa, which eliminates the possibility of a meltdown, eliminating the need for elaborate concrete containment structures, along with more than half the construction cost.

 
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