Saturday, June 18, 2016

US Restarts Nuclear Energy Program

It’s the first new U.S. nuclear reactor in decades. And climate change has made that a very big deal.
As control rods lift from the water in the core, and neutrons go about the business of splitting uranium atoms, life comes to a new nuclear reactor — the first in the country since its sister reactor here was licensed in 1996.

By summer’s end, authorities expect the new reactor at this complex along the Chickamauga Reservoir, a dammed section of the Tennessee River extending northward from Chattanooga, to steadily generate enough electricity to power 650,000 homes. Although the opening of a new nuclear facility used to draw protesters and angry rhetoric, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar reactor has been mostly welcomed by local residents — and even some advocates concerned about climate change.

“It’s a big step forward for clean energy, and we really have to be pushing that as hard as we can for the sake of the climate – all sources of clean energy, which includes nuclear,” said MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel.

He and a group of influential climate scientists, led by former NASA researcher James Hansen, have recently made a strong push for nuclear, arguing that the energy source “will make the difference between the world missing crucial climate targets or achieving them.” . . . 
But, as you can read later in the article, more nuclear plants are closing in the US than are restarting.

If you're worried about global warming and don't support nuclear power, you just don't like civilization. I'm not even worried about global warming, and I'd still rather live next to a nuke  (I do) than a coal burner, a raft of windmills, or a scorching bird burner. 

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