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Comments about ‘My view: Costs of nuclear energy in Utah’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 2 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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RRB
SLC, UT

No abatement costs? Will A nuclear dump take it for free?

We need the water for future growth. In this desert it's more valuable than sending power to other other states.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Stones' well-reasoned and evidence-based analysis will be dismissed and forgotten by our legislators and a nuclear power plant will be built in Utah the instant a majority of our legislators believe there's a quick buck to be made from having one.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Nuclear power just doesn't make economic sense based on the government subsidies and assistance programs noted by this author.

A speaker from the Nuclear Regulatory Agency came to University of Utah a few years back, and though an advocate, he made a very provocative statement. Given the instability in the world, he said that the U.S. HAD to accumulate all the nuclear waste in the world and become the depository for it because other countries quite simply did not have the security ability to maintain it. With all the not-in-my-backyard sentiment in the U.S. for storing nuclear waste (recall the controversy when Italy wanted to ship its nuclear waste to Utah?), I could see that there was no future for nuclear power.

Now with Japan's nuclear disaster fresh in the mind of the world, nuclear really is dead. The sheer cost of safety and risk make it a non-started with banks and private financers. With Washington in budget-cutting mode, nuclear subsides are likely to be next on the chopping block.

Think about this. We are still securing/guarding nuclear waste our grandparents created, all at the cost of taxpayers. Economical? No!

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Now with Japan's nuclear disaster fresh in the mind of the world, nuclear really is dead.' - Baron Scarpia | 5:54 a.m. Aug. 2, 2011

Supporting fact:

*'Traces of radiation found in 2 whales off Japan' - By Mari Yamaguchi - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/15/11

'They are the first whales thought to have been affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant...'

*'Low levels of radiation found in West Coast milk' - By Mary Clare Jalonick - AP - Published by DSNews - 03/31/11

'Traces of radioactive Iodine-131 were found in milk in California and Washington state, according to federal and state authorities who are monitoring for contamination as the nuclear crisis unfolds in Japan.'

Chachi
Charlottesville, VA

One-word rebuttal to this article: INVERSIONS.

More involved rebuttal: You can't say there have been five nuclear accidents by counting Fukushima as three, then Chernobyl and TMI--and then using that to predict how safe a plant would be in Utah! Chernobyl's problem was old technology that wouldn't be used in a new plant. Fukushima's problem was its proximity to the ocean. I don't think there's much chance of a tsunami tidal wave hitting Utah. And TMI was a non-event. Nobody was even injured. How many people are harmed by pollution from coal plants each year?

And nuclear storage an issue? What, is that giant desert not big enough to find a place to dig a pit, line it with concrete, and store the spent rods? Would you really rather store your pollution in your lungs?

BobP
Port Alice, B.C.

The anti nuclear power people are simply blinded by unreasoning fear. Other than two bombs on Japan, the total proven deaths for nuclear energy ar still under 500 world wide. Chernobyl was 87, Tree Mile Island was Zero.

Utah lost a few in a coal mine problem.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I'm a big proponent of nuclear power.

However, the issue with water must be considered in Utah. I know a lot of people have forgotten this year because of all the unusual rain that has fallen, but we're still a desert that typically struggles to provide enough water for a growing populace.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Fukushima's big problem was that it sat on a fault. The ocean was an uncalled for side effect of the earthquake. What makes nuclear power so expensive are unneeded and unnecessary government regulation. Most of which are unneeded due to the redundant safety features that are now required to be put into nuke plants. With the restrictions now being put on coal fired plants as far as emissions, a nuke plant may make sense. I think that it is pretty ironic that the government wants us to drive electric cars but doesn't want us to be able to cheaply generate the electricity needed to charge them.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I don't think nuclear will fly in Utah. Incidents are rare, but can be catastrophic if they do. We have plenty of natural gas. Let's use it. It produces far less pollution. I would like solar, but until we get good and inexpensive electric storage units it can't replace the conventional energy sources.

mkSdd3
Ogden, UT

Cleaner coal and natural gas power plants are the future for Utah.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

BO has said under his plan electricity costs will skyrocket. His plan involves shutting down all coal-fired plants, just what the article is espousing.

If we can't have coal, we have to have something, and as mush as we wish they would, wind and solar just do not provide enough.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'How many people are harmed by pollution from coal plants each year?' - Chachi | 9:36 a.m. Aug. 2, 2011

I'm glad you asked.

*'Study says coal burning in Utah kills 202 a year' - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/19/10
'SALT LAKE CITY A study commissioned by Utah state agencies says air pollution kills 202 residents a year.'

Not just nuclear and coal but...

*'Alaska Oil Spill: Trans-Alaska Pipeline Shuts Down 800 Mile Area In North Slope' - Huffington Post - 05/26/10

Coal, Nuclear and oil are some of the most desructive methods to harness energy. Doing damage on a massive scale (Japan to Washington) that can last for generations.

Alternatives are:

*'Solar plane completes historic 24-hour flight' - By Eliane Engeler - AP - 07/08/10
'Aircraft could stay in the air indefinitely, charging batteries from sun's rays.'

*'Solar plane lands after 1st international flight' - AP - 05/13/11

*'Teen project turns into green shock' - By Lee Benson, Deseret News - 06/26/11
'Not only that, electric is cheap to run about 19 cents per charge. It would cost him five bucks to go to Los Angeles.'

...are availible.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

*BO has said under his plan electricity costs will skyrocket.' - lost in DC | 10:37 a.m. Aug. 2, 2011

Do you have a DATE on that? Source?

If your going to quote someone, then you have to use their words verbatim. Like this:

"The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.' - George W. Bush - Ohio Speech 10/7/2002

See, I put WHO said, it, WHEN they said it, and WHAT they said, exactly.

Otherwise, I someone could accuse me of making things up.

Example:

'W has said under his plan electricity costs will skyrocket.'

Chris B, likes to do this.

Obama plan: Spend money.

Rebuttal.

Republican plan: blame Obama for the $10 trillion dollar debt they doubled from 2000-2008 when they controlled the House, Senate and Prediency from 2000-2006.

Ed Firmage, Jr.
Salt Lake City, UT

Nice editorial, Bernell. It's good to see someone in Utah thinking clearly about nuclear power.

Emophiliac
Vernal, UT

Let's presume we put nuclear power on the backburner. How much supply is still available in Utah if we stick with coal and/or natural gas? We're shipping natural gas out of the state as fast as we can, so obviously there is some kind of limit.

As for water, I presume almost 100% of the Green River could be sucked up by the nuclear power plant and it wouldn't have much, if any, impact on Utah. Is there anyone in Utah tapping water from the Green River (other than the farmers in Green River) that would be impacted by diverting some water elsewhere? Yes, it would impact Nevada, Arizona, and California, since they would no longer get some free water, but Utah? (I suppose the pipeline to St. George could come into play, if it happens)

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

Pagan, you and I have been allies elsewhere, but here, you are all wrong.

The motorcycle you laud has a top speed of 55 miles per hour, a range of 30 miles, requires three hours to re-charge. IOW 3.5 hours to go 30 miles. Its 700 miles to Los Angeles taking 82 hours vs. 10 by car. The plane you cite has room for only one person and has a top speed of 75 mph. These are just toys and arent ready for primetime.

The 200+ deaths yearly, just here in Utah are more than double those from the entire history of atomic power worldwide. Solar is too inefficient. Youd need several square miles of panels to equal even a small nuke plant and the environmental whackos will fear inconveniencing the blue-toed desert skink and will sue to prevent those panels installation. Wind power is even less feasible.

With computer designed plants with modern materials and construction techniques, theyd be FAR safer than Fukushima, especially if built away from people and earthquake faults. The French seemed to have solved the waste issue getting 90% of their electricity from nuclear power.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Pagan,
I answered you much sooner, but for some reason the DN didn't post it.

Go to youtube and you can hear the words coming from BO's own mouth. A graphic in the corner of the video also lists the ever conservative SF Chroncile.

And tell me, you always say bush added $4 trillion in debt (same in 96 months that BO added in 29) but now you say $10 trillion? which is it? (hint, it was 4)

Bob Wallace
Bridgeville, CA

Nuclear probably will be very expensive and there is no current solution for radioactive waste. It might have to stay on site for hundreds of years.

Coal might have problems if people get more concerned about global warming. A carbon tax could make coal produced electricity expensive. New coal plants will not produce cheap power like the old ones do. There's the loans to pay off.

How about considering all alternatives?

Utah has a lot of sunshine. Some of the best in the nation.

(Google US Solar Map - this site seems to not allow links.)

Utah has a some very good wind resources.

(Google US Wind Map)

The cost of solar is dropping very rapidly. Wind is almost as cheap as coal, cheaper than new coal. And just north of you is a state with lots of wind, you could buy from them.

Utah has a lot of places where one could build closed-loop hydro storage.

Might be a good idea to investigate the cost of wind and solar with some storage and natural gas generation. The price might be as good or better without the nuclear and coal risks.

RRB
SLC, UT

Meanwhile, Energy solutions is a few weeks away from shipping b and c waste mixed with other chemicals through Utah to Clive. Hope we don't get a wet spell, the water has no place to go, the pumps in the Great Salt Lake will flood it out.

VST
Bountiful, UT

It is impossible to generate enough electrical power with just green sources such as wind and solar to meet even today's demand level for that power in the United States. Furthermore wind and solar sources are subject to the effects of the weather (no sun or wind on some days). They can supplement the power demands but not totally replace it and they should be used for that purpose.

So, if it is not coal generated power, then what? Increase the number of hydroelectric dams producing electrical power? That would be a consistent long-term source that is not dependent upon fossil fuel sources but that is a lot more dams than reasonably can be built to replace the current dirty-coal generating plants.

So what about converting to natural gas-generated plants? That is a good plan but as with coal, natural gas is a limited source that will eventually be depleted; we have significantly more coal resources than we do natural gas.

Looks like to me that nuclear-generated power has to be part of the long-term solution even with all of its baggage.

And yes, the cost of our electrical bill is going to increase.

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