Skip to main content

Kadak, Meserve, Todreas and Wilson Endorse Call of Climate Scientists to Expand Use of Nuclear Energy

Richard Meserve
Our readers will recall that last Fall, a group of scientists led by Dr. James Hansen of of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, issued an open letter endorsing an expansion of the use of nuclear energy in order to help combat climate change.

Earlier today, Andrew Revkin of the New York Times published another open letter, this one signed by former NRC Chairman Dick Meserve, among others, applauding the actions of those four scientists and endorsing the same course of action on expanding nuclear energy.
The energy needs of the world are large and growing. The one billion people that do not even have access to electricity cannot be denied the ability to improve their quality of life. Nuclear energy provides a scaleable, clean source of safe power which, with other clean energy sources, can meet the world's needs in a sustainable manner. We applaud and support the efforts of the climate scientist authors of the originally cited letter. Drs. Caldeira, Emanuel, Hansen and Wigley, for bringing the issue of the need for nuclear power to the world environmental community and policy leaders.
The other three signatories to the letter are: former American Nuclear Society President Andrew Kadak; Neil Todreas, Former Chairman of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; and Richard Wilson, former Chairman of the Department of Physics at Harvard University. Click here to read the full text of the letter.

Comments

jimwg said…
Signing letters is nice and fine but why not broadcast even a two or three shot public appeal for supporters and academic backing on some TV markets? Surly the organizations concerned can pass the cup around and cash in for 30-second TV and radio spots which will do great service as a heads-up to the public and colleges that such a vital environmental-energy issue is happening under their radar. I mean if PUPPY RESCUE can afford cable TY spots in major markets like NYC-metro...

Like I'm REALLY tired of seeing Michio Kaku spin his glib FUD totally unchallenged!

James Greenidge
Queens NY
You could easily replace base-load electricity production from fossil fuels with carbon neutral nuclear power by simply increasing the production of electricity at existing nuclear sites. This can be done by gradually adding small nuclear reactors to each existing site over the course of two or three decades.

The more than 60 nuclear sites in the US could easily accommodate capacities up to 8GWe electric without significant heat island problems.

The production of hydrogen during off-peak hours by nuclear power plants could be used to substantially increase carbon neutral bio-methanol production from urban and rural biowaste.

This carbon neutral methanol could be used in slightly modified gas turbines for the production of peak-load electricity. Such turbines actually produce electricity more efficiently than natural gas.

Marcel

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…