The news from Japan is grim, but the mainstream media has made the story worse. Their template is NUCLEAR ACCIDENT WILL KILL THOUSANDS!!! Or not. Because, so far, that has not been the case.
Nuclear power, whether or not you like it, is the future of renewable energy. The sun and the wind work to a point, but after all these years are still not yet ready for prime time. The problem is storage. After you generate electricity with wind and light, you either have to use it or store it and the technology for battery storage isn’t there. I’m not saying that it won’t be, but we can’t wait.
Nuclear power, on the other hand works. Further, it’s relatively simple. You build a nuclear reactor, use it to boil water and let the steam turn turbines which generate electricity. We use it on Submarines and Aircraft Carriers and have for years.
The units in Japan which are struggling are a) 40 years old, b) designed by the General Electric company, and c) were broken by the one of the biggest if not the biggest earthquake in modern history. To use that as an excuse not to pursue nuclear energy is like saying that we shouldn’t build tall buildings because 19 crazy people may hijack some airliners and fly into them.
The fact is that we send billions and billions of dollars each year to people who hate us. People like Moammar Kaddafi who take our money and use it to kill his own citizens when he’s not sponsoring the bombing of a Pan Am plane over Scotland. We do that to buy the oil from them that we discovered and brought out of the ground.
Compared to supporting these clowns, what’s an occasional nuclear emergency?
The truth is that in the United States we have had one single commercial issue, years ago, in Pennsylvania and nobody has ever been able to tie any lasting damage to it.
This argument has huge implications for Nevada.
When we were in the midst of the Yucca Mountain fight, I suggested that we find a place in Nevada to build five nuclear power plants and charge a severance tax for each kilowatt hour which left the state. In short order, the gaming industry would find out that it had been replaced as a cash cow. The problem, and it is not an insurmountable one, is water. If we can build a silly pipeline from Ely to Las Vegas, we can probably build one from the Pacific Ocean to wherever we build the plants. If that would even be necessary.
Nuclear fuel is easy to come by because we can now reprocess the spent fuel rods which everybody wants to ship here. And if it’s one thing Nevada has in abundance, it is land which is more than 100 miles away from Las Vegas.
My guess is that White Pine County would welcome two nuclear plants to replace the coal-fired plants which Harry Reid screwed them out of.
The fact is that nuclear power is far more “green” than most if not all the commercially viable alternatives.
The problem is that the left loves to seize on things like the Japan Earthquake and use that as an excuse to stop the development of a way to tell the Arabs to drink their oil.
Can a nuclear accident hurt people?
But, keep in mind that Japan isn’t facing a nuclear accident. They are facing a once in a lifetime act of God which broke a plant which was built with 40 year old technology and it is still possible that when all is said and done, the problems will be under control and very few people will have been hurt.
This is not a reason to stop development of our energy independence initiative.
Or, let’s put it another way:
Would you like to make your future dependent on middle east warlords who hate us?
Or, would you rather take a little bit of risk and control the future?
Or, I suppose we could go without energy.
That would sure make us into the kind of society you want to live in, wouldn’t it?