Legislative spotlight on nuclear power for Utah consumers draws criticism, praise

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  • BeauDiddly Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    The nuclear power being endorsed is power that is not created in the same manner as the present nuclear power plants. The technology is quite different and does not create the waste and the same criticality concerns that are often attributed to the present nuclear power plants. These units are quite small and as I understand it are operated in a contained unit, unlike present nuclear power plants. There are many beneficial uses of radioactive materials, but people aren't panicked about the radiation that surrounds them already on a daily basis or radiation used to diagnose or treat an illness. Before you jump to conclusions because the word "nuclear" is present, do a little research on molten salt reactors and formulate your own opinions. Look at the pros and cons and compare them with the pros and cons of other energy sources.

  • padanny Blanding, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    Nuclear energy I a reliable and clean addition to our national energy demand. Forget the glow in the dark monster movies from the 50's. Nuclear plants and waste storage have become extremely safe and clean.
    There is NO carbon emmission!!
    It's a cleaner way to handle our inversion conditions. The sustainable family supporting jobs it would add to our economy are enormously important. National and State Parks do not raise Utah families. We need clean stable industry and we need this efficient energy source

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    Feb. 13, 2019 6:40 a.m.

    @Pops:

    "As an engineer, I will never understand why rational people would oppose nuclear energy."

    For some, they conflate "nuclear energy" with "nuclear war" and oppose it on those grounds.

    For others, I think the biggest thing is that people misunderstand the nuclear waste issue.

    High level nuclear waste is *very radioactive*. Radioactive enough to kill you if you were stupid enough to go hug a spent fuel assembly.

    They also hear that nuclear waste has a half life of millions of years.

    The part that they miss is that the stuff that's very radioactive has a half life of 30 years, not millions. The stuff that's only mildly radioactive, kind of like granite, is the long lived stuff.

    There's probably not much to do to convince either of these groups.

    And then there's the last group. Those concerned about cost. Nuclear power plants have typically been late and over budget. (A lot late, and a lot over budget.)

    NuScale has the opportunity to fix this. It's part of the design philosophy to avoid the pitfalls that lead plants to be late and over budget. Hopefully we get to see if it works.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 9:10 p.m.

    We get a distorted idea of what constitutes "green" in the popular media. According to the pro-nuclear group Environmental Progress, solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per amount of energy produced, including lead, chromium, and cadmium. The handling of the waste byproducts of solar panels is far less regulated.

    As an engineer, I will never understand why rational people would oppose nuclear energy. It's safe, clean and inexpensive. I guess I could chalk it up to mass hysteria, lack of education, and poor critical thinking skills.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 8:41 p.m.

    It's a good idea to include nuclear power of this more modern design as one of several independent but coordinated power source. Especially when these smaller, safer, more modular power plants can not only provide an essentially important constant baseload to support the intermittency of both solar and wind power, it can do it in a dispersed fashion that alleviates the inefficiencies and current vulnerability problems inherent in our all-the-eggs-in-one-basket approach using massive central power plants.

    And, importantly, comparing the costs of these more advanced designs to the extravagantly expensive nuclear power plants of the past with their much more troublesome potential for meltdowns and other inherent drawbacks, is a disingenuous apples/oranges situation.

  • batfink Australia, 00
    Feb. 12, 2019 5:32 p.m.

    In Victoria Australia recently 2 separate coal power plants failed at the same time during a heat wave which sent the green wind turbine cheer squad into rapturous delight because their 'green wind turbines provided electricity regardless' however, guess what actually happened at the same- yep, the wind died down at the same time the 2 coal power plants failed!
    The once self reliant state of Victoria then had to temporarily buy power from South Australia which is a state that often has to buy power from interstate as well. More than 50,000 homes went dark for over 24hrs during this dance.

    Now, here's the worst part: A few days ago the green lobby in Australia managed to get a proposed coal mine stopped because of climate change concerns however, the coal from the proposed mine was going to be coking coal- that means it's coal to make steel.

    So the greens in Australia now prevent Australia from having nuclear power and prevent Australia from providing the ingredients to make steel. We've got the largest iron ore deposits on earth along with the largest deposits of uranium and the green minority delights in preventing us from actually using either of them.

    Embarrassing.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 12, 2019 3:25 p.m.

    Nuclear will be part of any clean energy strategy in the future. That's just reality. This is a good step forward.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 2:49 p.m.

    Nuclear works when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 2:32 p.m.

    Geez, legislators, make up your minds!

    I thought global climate change was an evil liberal myth. Now you're claiming it as justification for sinking millions of dollars of public money into a project. (If nuclear power is so promising, why can't private capital fund its research and development costs?)

    Surely there's a good reason for this inconsistency. Please tell me that this isn't just another handoff to well-placed allies and campaign donors.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 2:03 p.m.

    No. This does not fit. Not in Utah. Not in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, etc. The only reason the Legislature is pushing this is because a lot of Utah politicians, most notably, Mike Noel and his cronies are invested in this. This is just another tax dollar grab that benefits a handful of Utah politicians and their donors.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 2:04 p.m.

    PLEASE! Do not develop nuclear energy in Utah or west of here.