Climate scientists say it is time to go 'nuclear'; letter stirs debate in Utah

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    To "Baron Scarpia" any tax incentives that the nuclear power receive is much better than what the wind and solar power industries get. When power is purchaed from a nuclear power plant it includes the cost to build the plant, maintain it, fuel, projected decomissioning costs, and insurance for accidents.

    We don't have to pay to store the waste. Much of the waste can be turned into new fuel for nuclear reactors. We are wasting a valuable fuel source.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" I hate to bring some reality to you, but nuclear power is blocked primarily by leftist environmental groups. The Tea party is all for the nuclear power plants because it is a cheap solution to our power needs.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    It is a statement of faith for the leftist No Nukes that nuclear power is not acceptable. Some of them are slowly confronting reality and admitting that their years of obstruction and costly legal challenges are counterproductive for the environment. Japan is ending nuclear power rather than admitting that it was their own incompetence by failing to update technology. While not a member of the Tea Party, I am unaware of their stand on nuclear energy and bringing them into the conversation is irrelevant.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 6, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    1. I went to college, I was in the military, and have worked around nuclear facilities for years - I'm not afraid of it at all.

    2. I lived in Seattle for 20 years. Bonneville Power used nuclear facilities for their "base load" [thanks for mentioning that Johnny Moser] and augmented the peak loads using hydro and wind during the day. Nuclear can't ramp up and down on a daily cycle, but are ideal for the base loads.

    3. Us "tree-huggers" are not opposed to nuclear, even the President of GreenPeace has written in support of it.
    It's the coal loving burn baby burn GOP Tea-Partiers who oppose it, because it costs taxpayers $Billions build and subsidize them.

    4. Socialist countries use nuclear power because even though it's more expensive, it's for the common good. Besides, they have gullible people in Utah who will GLADLY take their waste.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    @ Piper

    It is difficult for America to compare to socialist countries (e.g., France, Japan) that can pay all the subsidies for nuclear power where citizens are willing to pay them.

    Americans have a difficult time just raising taxes to educate our kids, let alone build multi-billion nuke plants and then spend billions to store waste or reuse spent fuel rods (note that reusing rods still costs money and warrants more tax dollars to dispose of them).

    Let's not forget the tax dollars for the insurance for nuclear disasters -- where Uncle Sam is responsible for clean up and liability to citizens and property damage in America. It's a sweetheart deal for nukes.

    Consider this: We, U.S. tax payers, are still paying for the storage of nuclear waste left from the energy used by our grandparents 50 years ago. Creating waste that warrants guarding and maintenance decades later isn't a good use of tax dollars. (yes, it creates jobs, but still any economist will tell you it is essentially wasted tax money)

    Water is the other big issue. Utah's dwindling water supplies in the face of exploding population makes nuclear a non-starter here.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    The main danger of nuclear power is that anti-nuclear sentiments and short-sighted politicians will continue to block the construction of new, safer reactors and so the old unsafe reactors will keep operating well beyond their designed lifespans. That's what the real problem at Fukushima was.

    As to those who worry about nuclear waste, you could simply grind it up and spew it out a smokestack into the atmosphere like a coal plant does. That's not a good idea- we have better options- but it'd still be better than a coal plant. For a given amount of energy production, a coal plant produces 100 times as much radioactive waste as a nuclear plant does, simply because it exposes radioactive elements in the coal. With a nuclear plant we can decide what to do with its tiny amount of waste, but with a coal plant we're stuck blowing 100 times as much radioactive matter, along with a tremendous amount of other pollutants, directly into the atmosphere.

  • Piper Scio, OR
    Nov. 5, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    You have to give it to France. They generate the vast majority of their electrical needs through nuclear power and even then reprocess their nuclear waste to make new fuel rods. China, Russia and South Korea are not far behind. Hopefully we come around sooner than later to see that we can reduce our carbon footprint through nuclear power.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon

    You are being misleading.

    There is a difference between global warming and MAN-MADE global warming.

    OF course there is global warming and global cooling, it is perfectly natural, and is nothing to be concerned about.

    What can be legitimately denied is man-made global warming.

    In any case, nuclear energy is a terrific solution that is cheap and clean., is the ignorant naysayers and protestors would just get out of the way.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Nov. 5, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    The really important piece that nuclear brings to the puzzle of powering any economy and society was likely missed by the average reader of this article. It was in the last paragraph:

    "so we don't see alternatives for a base load resource for power"

    Once you understand HOW power gets put on the grid and what "base load" means you know the only environmentally sound decision is nuclear. If you don't know what "base load" means now consider that it to be the most important thing you will need learn. It makes the argument about power and where it comes from make sense and puts nuclear in a completely different perspective.

    If you don't know what it means and you are still in the argument about where power comes from and what we need, you don't look credible in your argument without knowing what "base load" means.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Nov. 5, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    @ Open Minded Mormon

    That is probably because a lot of them remember back in the 70s how the scientists said we were going into a global cooling.

    Scientists still don't know what is going on with the climate. I just read an article yesterday at the Washington Post that stated "Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world."

    "On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978."

    Care to explain that to me? The Climate scientist in the article had no clue why the ice grew so much.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 5, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    The 1st hurdle to jump over here in Utah is for MOST to realize that Global Warming is REAL,
    The 2nd hurdle to jump is how are we going to deal with it?

    At least the Scientists are proposing answers and solutions,
    the Global Warming deniers I'm surrounded by won't even acknowledge there is even a problem!