Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Calvert County OKs nuclear

In a world gone "green," Calvert County officials have given the thumbs-up to an old yet controversial standby: nuclear energy. A recent AP article says that the county’s elected officials sent a letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission giving their support for building a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.

Constellation Energy Group, based here in Baltimore, filed a partial application for the 1,600-megawatt reactor in Lusby. It would be the first commercial reactor built in the U.S. in approximately 30 years.

To counter those who are sure to bring up Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, Constellation is estimating that the reactor could employ about 2,500 people and that the Calvert Cliffs facility expansion would bring another 400 full-time jobs. The county is expecting about $16 million in taxes this year from the facility — 8 percent of the county’s tax revenue. Jobs and revenue aside, there’s also the eco-friendly allure of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The flip side of that, according to groups like Beyond Nuclear, is nuclear waste — how much of it will be left over, and where can we store it safely. And this may be yet another target in the U.S. for a terrorist attack. Of course, what isn’t, these days? But should we really be adding to the 11 nuclear plants already in the Chesapeake Bay watershed?

Whether we poison the sky with an overloaded carbon cycle, or we bury a toxic combustible byproduct, policymakers seem to struggle with bringing innovation into our energy policy. Yes, wind and solar are picking up some steam in certain areas — but how long has that taken? Not as long as the wind and sun have been around, but long enough.
What do you think?

-FRANCIS SMITH, Special Publications Assistant Editor

2 comments:

Dave Kraft said...

I winced when I saw yet again the criticism, "Yes, wind and solar are picking up some steam in certain areas — but how long has that taken?"

How long indeed! We have never known an energy source to produce electricity successfully if it is not first --BUILT! As long as the decisions for building wind and solar installations are made by executives biased towards nuclear and coal, just how fair and accurate is this "criticism"? Sounds more like a self-serving self-fulfilling prophecy to us.

--Dave Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service
Chicago

du said...

ELEVEN NUKES!!???

You have got to be kidding! But, sadly I guess what you say is true.

Don't you know that these things all leak a variety of uranium gases and aerosols all the time?

No wonder the diabetes and cancer rates are going through the roof there.

Now, gluttons for punishment, you are adding two nukes in one plant.
Will the projected annual death toll from it be double?

Bob Nichols
Project Censored Award Winner
San Francisco