Nuclear Produced Electricity Is Green Power
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Reasonable people and energy experts know that there are only two cost effective and dependable ways to produce base load electrical power for millions of homes and businesses: 1) coal and 2) nuclear. As an environmentalist for 29 years and having worked with some of the best known antinuclear activists in the world, I believe the nuclear industry has proven that it can dependably and safely provide a mind boggling amount of electricity without emitting greenhouse and other polluting gases. In addition to storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, our organization also promotes reprocessing of fuel rods for reuse in nuclear plants. We need to build more nuclear plants now.
Beautiful Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
We love solar cell power and wind energy. Unfortunately, these technologies are severely limited in providing electricity at night and on windless days. Multibillion-dollar investments in electricity production have to be dependable 24 hours per day, 7 days and nights per week, 365 days and nights per year. The grid must contain a critical mass of electrons to work properly. The recent blackout in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada illustrates what can happen when this critical mass is compromised.
If we NIMBY anywhere and anytime, we should not expect the utility industry to provide electricity to everyone everywhere all of the time. Large voltage, above ground transmission lines will have to be built throughout the United States to accommodate our insatiable need for electricity. If we believe that global warming is a real threat to our planet, then the very best way to provide base load electricity is through emission-free production of nuclear power. Of course, adequate capacity is useless if it does not have the transmission and distribution lines to get electricity to customers.
We should consider new generation technologies that will bring the electrical system in the United States into the 21st Century. We need a smart grid that can be monitored and controlled in distributing electricity. We should build hybrid nuclear-water distillation plants in the West. These plants could produce electricity and potable drinking water for fast growing Western cities. This would both reduce our dependence on Mother Nature for adequate water resources in the West and protect the atmosphere by providing electricity to society without polluting emissions. If we could expand the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, there would be even greater energy and environmental benefits to society. We also support using uranium and plutonium from nuclear arsenals to produce fuel for use in nuclear power plants. The use of this mixed oxide (MOX) fuel will not only provide an additional source of fuel for our nation, it will also reduce the risk of terrorists getting their hands on such warheads. The benefits of using MOX fuel are incalculable. The energy bill currently being considered in the U.S. Congress should include these recommendations so that America will be free to efficiently utilize electricity to the maximum extent possible.
Pressurized Water Reactor
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant: One of New York State's Greatest Assets
Indian Point nuclear power plant is beautiful and powerful. Packing about 2,000 megawatts in a very small geophysical area, it provides around 40 percent of the electricity for New York City. The twin containment domes are as majestic as the World Trade Center twin towers once were. It is unfortunate that opponents want to close the plant due to fears of a terrorist attack. AAEA believes that we should not close our sky scrapers, airports and nuclear plants. Indian Point nuclear plant is one of the great wonders of New York. Located on the Hudson River in Buchanan, New York, Indian Point is a testament to American genius.
Indian Point nuclear power plant
San Onofre Nuclear Plant Needs To Replace Steam Generators
San Onofre nuclear power plant needs to have its aging steam generators replaced to keep the reactor running. Southern California Edison is seeking state approval to replace the generators.and to spread the $680 million cost among ratepayers. The issue involves 22-year-old steam generators that were built to last 40 years but are showing their age way ahead of schedule. The generators inside San Onofre's two reactor domes are about 65 feet tall, up to 22 feet wide and 620 tons in weight apiece.
Each of San Onofre's reactor domes has two generators, and each generator has about 9,350 tubes that are cracking, forcing crews to plug them up for safety's sake. Under federal regulations, if 21.4 percent or more of the tubes are filled, the plant can be ordered to shut down. San Onofre's generators are about halfway toward that tube-plugging limit. There is a 25 percent probability that the generators in Unit 2 will reach the federal limit by 2010 and a 15 percent probability that those inside Unit 3 will do the same by 2017.
San Diego Gas & Electric, which has a 20 percent stake in San Onofre, has decided not to help pay for the improvements because the steam generator replacement project is too expensive and would cost its 1.2 million customers for $163 million to pay its share.
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
Southern California Edison, the plant's majority owner, placed an order in December 2004 with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture the replacement generators for an undisclosed amount. If approved, the project at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station would be the largest capital project in the plant's history, outside construction of the reactors themselves. Unit 1 started generating power Jan. 1, 1968, and was shut down in 1992. Unit 2 went online in 1982 and Unit 3 in 1983.
It is similar to a project proposed for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County that earned a preliminary nod from a California Public Utilities Commission judge January. 25, 2005.
An administrative law judge for the PUC is holding hearings in San Francisco on the latest rate request. The PUC will make the final decision, probably in the spring of 2005. The rate case is important because San Onofre provides power to 2.2 million Southern Californians.
Iif the project does not win approval for the plant, it will be forced to shut down and the state would have to look for 2,200 megawatts of generation. Nuclear power plant opponents hope the rate increase request will be denied so that San Onofre would shut down when it is scheduled to close and its license expires in 2022. Plant officials would be hard-pressed to get the license renewed while still using the old steam generators. Installing new generators would lengthen the power plant's life beyond 2022.
Of the 104 licensed reactors in the United States, 69 are pressurized water reactors similar to San Onofre. Of those, 39 plants have already replaced their steam generators; the rest are still addressing the issue.
The city of Riverside is the only other plant co-owner to support the project. The city, which has a 1.8 percent ownership stake in the plant for its 101,700 customers, has agreed to contribute about $15 million.
Anaheim, which owns 3.1 percent of the plant, has opted out, choosing not to ask its 110,600 customers to pay an estimated $24 million toward the project.