Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Americans Favourable to Nuclear Power

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I got myself on a mailin' list fer folks concerned about what's happenin' here in Nanticoke with the Nanticoke coal-fired generator. Ginty sez he's closin' it down an' there's a bigass push to build a nuclear power plant on or near the present location on the shores of Lake Erie.Today, I got an email pointin' me at the Wall Street Journal's forum where they got a yammerin' gabfest goin' on all about whether the Merkans oughta build more nuke plants. I jumped in an' since I'm a lazyass, I recycled most o' my comment into this here boog story.

They got a poll sez about 80% like the nuke idea. Most o' the comments is pro-nuke. Some of 'em, they IDed themselves as nuke industry workers.Some commenters was castin' doubt on the veracity of the online poll. Me, too. I reckon it's gettin' freeped just like that one The Beaver done where ol' Troodough come out as worstest Canajun ever.

A lotta Merkans unnerstand that oil's what got 'em in hot water over in EyeRack an' they're willin' to do whatever it takes to quit buyin' oil. Whatever it takes that don't put a crimp in their wasteful lifestyle, that is. They're buyin' into the ad campaign: clean, safe, affordable.

I seen a lot of WSJ commenters touting France as a good example of nuclear success. Someone claimed France was successfully reprocessing its waste but that was later shown not to be the case and the attempt was abandoned 10 years ago.

France and Europe, in general, have troubles when they get heat waves. At the very time more power is needed for AC, nuclear plants are forced to shut down due to a lack of water to cool them.

Heatwave shuts down nuclear power plants

Same thing's happened in Michigan.

Northeast of Chicago, American Electric Power Co. shut down one of two nuclear reactors in Bridgman, Michigan, yesterday after lake water, used to cool the facility, pushed readings in the containment building to 120 degrees, spokesman William Schalk said.

I also seen a lot of people talking about how safe nuclear is. Unfortunately, they may have the impression that there have been no nuclear accidents in North America since Three Mile Island. In fact, there have been numerous leaks and problems. Here's something from the NYT concerning radioactive leaks at several US reactor locations:

Nuclear Reactors Found to Be Leaking Radioactive Water

Here's a more complete list of worldwide nuclear accidents from wikipedia.

The market price of uranium has more than quadrupled in the past 6 years. It is expected to double again this year. New nuclear plants won't come online for at least 10 years. How much will the US pay for (mostly) foreign uranium? Is America jumping out the the oil frying pan into the nuclear fire? As a chief supplier of uranium, should Canada be worried with regard to mining and transportation safety issues?

Nuclear waste must be guarded by armed personnel 24/7 for the next millenium or two. Reprocessed nuclear waste is much more radioactive and can be the fuel of a very dirty bomb. Do we have so much faith in government as to think it will be here conscientiously guarding the ever-growing stockpiles 2 or 3 thousand years from now? Here in Canada, that guard duty is being shifted from public to private responsibility. Will the rent-a-cops be as diligent as Dudley Dooright?