What prompted this was an opinion piece titled `The debate on climate heats up' by John K. Bullard. I agree that current world leaders are not educating the masses when it comes to the issue of the climate. However, is it their job to educate the masses? Not really but that can be debated elsewhere like on a blog devoted to politics and other such things.
Here is a quote from the linked article:
This isn't just about a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast. This is about many such farms, everywhere we can put them. This is about nuclear power, because the risks from long-term storage of nuclear-fuel rods pales beside the harm caused right now by carbon.
Taking a look around the world one finds an increase of nuclear activity going on. Even though the U.S. stopped providing India with uranium over three decades ago, Russia is now pledging that they will supply the uranium needed to keep the Tarapur nuclear power plants. But will the U.S. block this purchase? If not will this clear the way for the Atomic Parks idea to go forward and, to quote, "add between 20,000 and 40,000 MW of nuclear power generation capacity over the next 10 years or so..."?
Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that more nuclear power is needed in order to produce (and maintain) a 20% share in Russia.
A short hop, skip, and a jump away we see that Vietnam is trying to gear up for the nuclear age. Their first big problem is getting people who know what they are doing. The article states that too few students study the subject and those who are in the field are retiring or going abroad.
Closer to home we find Mexico. Not only are they looking at a huge new oil field, they are also looking at expanding their nuclear capability. It is hoped that the new plant will be built by 2020 and meet the ever increasing new demands for energy in the country.
Heading north we finally get back to the United States. Not so cheery news though. Instead there are calls to look over the security of nuclear plants. What kind of security? To thwart airborne (think planes) and waterborne attacks (ummmm...submarines? attacking the U.S.?). Locally the Shearon Harris nuclear facility the outer walls to the plant can survive a direct impact by a 747. As for the waterborne attacks a submarine is a bit much and most of the water is far too shallow for a sub.
How about a small crack team on a rubber boat and carrying explosives? OK they could possibly reach the intake. They will then have to remove the grating that keeps out the marine life. After getting in a bit they would also run into other items such as metal bars. Even if they were to set the charges at that point, the overall damage would be minimal.
See Progress Energy's plants and assorted goodies.
So when we are not questioning the security of the plants, they are getting sued. Of course if they (Exelon Nuclear power plant 50 miles southwest of Chicago) would refrain from dropping radioactive tritium all over the place, they may find themselves a bit more loved by the community.
Perhaps the answer to that would be floating nuclear power plants as suggested by Mikhail Kovalchuk, director of the Kurchatov Institute? Oh wait then submarines might end up being a threat.
Of course we love our red tape and passing laws.
Senate bill would require legislative approval for nuke extension
Operators of the Vermont Yankee would have to get the Legislature's approval before the nuclear power plant could extend its license beyond a scheduled 2012 expiration, if a bill that won preliminary Senate approval Tuesday ultimately passes.
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