The Democrats are right about one thing, Drilling alone is not the solution to our energy needs (of course they say that drilling wont help at all). There is another energy source that is part of the solution, one that I have heard McCain speak about but not Obama or his dhimmicratic friends, that is Nuclear Power. McCain has called for the construction of 45 NEW Nuclear power plants in the next 20 years, Obama has replied with a tepid “we should explore nuclear power”
France gets 80% of its electrical power from nuclear plants, Japan and Finland about 30%, the US: next to nothing. Among industrial powers, the United States is the only one that ignores this clean, low cost and environmentally sound method of generating energy. Not only is this causing a greater reliance on fossil fuels and imported energy, but it is putting us at a competitive disadvantage as we continue to pay more for Oil. America needs to grow its Nuclear Capacity NOW if we are to ever be free of foreign Oil:
Let’s Have Some Love for Nuclear Power
WILLIAM TUCKER All over the world, nuclear power is making a comeback. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just commissioned eight new reactors, and says there’s “no upper limit” to the number Britain will build in the future. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged her country’s program to phase out 17 nuclear reactors by 2020, saying it will be impossible to deal with climate change without them. China and India are building nuclear power plants; France and Russia, both of whom have embraced the technology, are fiercely competing to sell them the hardware. And just last month John McCain called for the construction of 45 new reactors by 2030. Barack Obama is less enthusiastic about nuclear energy, but he seems to be moving toward tacit approval.In the U.S. at present, 104 nuclear plants generate about 21% of our electric power. Last November, NRG Energy, of Princeton, N.J., became the first company to file for a license to build a new nuclear plant since the 1970s. Almost a dozen more applications have now also been filed. While we may be at a turning point, one enormous question still hangs over this revival of nuclear power in the U.S.: Who is going to pay for it? The construction of reactors in the rest of the world is essentially a government enterprise. Private investment and even public approval are not always necessary. In the U.S., however, the capital will have to be raised from Wall Street. But not many investors are willing to put up $5 billion to $10 billion for a project that could become engulfed by 10 to 15 years of regulatory delay — as occurred during the 1980s. The Seabrook plant in New Hampshire went through 14 years of that before opening in 1990. The Long Island Lighting Company’s Shoreham plant began in 1973, but was shut down by protests in 1989 without generating a watt of electricity, and the company went bankrupt as a result. If we are now going to choose nuclear power as a way to resolve both our concerns about global warming and our looming energy shortfalls, we are first going to have to engage in a national debate about whether or not we accept the technology. To begin this discussion, I suggest redefining what we call nuclear power as “terrestrial energy.” Every fuel used in human history — firewood, coal, oil, wind and water — has been derived from the sun. But terrestrial energy is different. Terrestrial energy is the heat at the earth’s core that raises its temperature to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the surface of the sun. Remarkably, this heat derives largely from a single source — the radioactive breakdown of uranium and thorium. The energy released in the breakdown of these two elements is enough to melt iron, stoke volcanoes and float the earth’s continents like giant barges on its molten core. Geothermal plants are a way of tapping this heat. They are generally located near fumaroles and geysers, where groundwater meets hot spots in the earth’s crust. If we dig down far enough, however, we will encounter more than enough heat to boil water. Engineers are now talking about drilling down 10 miles (the deepest oil wells are only five miles) to tap this energy. Here’s a better idea: Bring the source of this heat — the uranium — to the surface, put it in a carefully controlled environment, and accelerate its breakdown a bit to raise temperatures to around 700 degrees Fahrenheit, and use it to boil water. That’s what we do in a nuclear reactor. Because the public first became aware of nuclear energy through warfare, reactors have always been thought of as “silent bombs.” But nuclear plants cannot explode. The fissionable isotope of uranium must be enriched to 90% to create a weapon. In a reactor it is only 3%. You could not blow up a nuclear reactor if you tried. Nor is the threat of terrorists crashing an airplane into a reactor and setting off a holocaust very plausible. The Department of Energy once crashed an F-4 jet going 500 miles per hour into a concrete wall the thickness of a nuclear containment structure. The plane vaporized while the concrete was barely dented. (see video below) Finally, the problem of radioactive waste has been absurdly exaggerated. More than 95% of the material in a spent fuel rod can be recycled for energy and medical isotopes. We have a nuclear waste problem in this country because we gave up reprocessing in the 1970s. The fear was that terrorists or foreign nationals would steal plutonium from American reactors to build bombs. This is a bit like worrying that terrorists will steal all the gold from Fort Knox. Other countries have built bombs in the intervening years. They didn’t need American plutonium to do it. Meanwhile, France has proved that reprocessing works. With a fully developed nuclear cycle, the French now store all the waste from 30 years of producing 75% of its electricity beneath the floor of one room at La Hague in Normandy. Three days after Sen. McCain made his proposal on June 18, Admiral “Skip” Bowman, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, wrote an op-ed asking for yet more government support in developing nuclear energy. It can’t work this way. If nuclear energy is to progress, it must stand on its own. That means Wall Street has to invest. And convincing Wall Street to invest means persuading the public that there is nothing unacceptably dangerous or diabolical about nuclear power.