The future glows green
Combine renewables with nuclear
OH, HOW we wished we’d never listened to the No Nukes crowd back in the 1970s. Remember our betters among popular musicians— some of whom might have even had high school educations—preaching to us about the evils of nuclear power? Remember the concerts and demonstrations? If anybody asks why there are so many skeptics of global warming today, tell them to Google Jackson Browne, Graham Nash & Co. The same kinds of people who tell us today that global warming will kill us all told us that nuclear power would do it first. If we never would have listened to them in the first place, we could have nuclear plants at every turn in the river— and clean energy would be the norm. Not to mention $50 electric bills.
But despite the efforts of 1979 etc., green energy continues to grow. Solar and wind power show great promise. So do giant batteries. But mankind still needs to power the grid at night and when the wind is still, the moon is out, and the batteries dead.
Enter nuclear. It’s tech we’ve had since World War II, and it’s the perfect pairing to go along with green energy. When the sun and wind aren’t around, nuclear can be right there, ready to pick up the slack.
The problem with nuclear, at least today, is cost. (The No-Nukers have been debunked, thoroughly.) America’s nuclear plants are aging, and we’re not exactly pushing forward to build more. In fact, there’s just one under construction at this time, and it’s in Georgia. These plants costs billions of dollars and take several years to construct. That’s an unattractive prospect for corporations, hence the current lack of nuclear plants popping up around the United States.
But the papers have carried stories of a possible solution. And it lies in miniature nuclear technology called small modular reactors or “SMRs.” Countries like Britain and France are looking into their promise.
Reuters has more on this tech: “The mini plants, still under development, would be made in factories, with parts small enough to be transported on trucks and barges to sites where they could be assembled in around six to 12 months, up to a tenth of the time it takes to build some larger plants.”
The kicker here is these mini nuclear reactors are designed by an American company called NuScale Power out in Oregon.
SMRs also have the ability to be set up at existing nuclear plant sites or at licensed sites where older plants are being decommissioned.
This country, and the world, will continue to improve when it comes to green energy. (And we should. Global warming or no, who likes pollution?) One of the best ideas to come along in a while might be these SMRs. Together they could allow us to bring a conservative approach to increasing renewable energy on the power grid while decreasing pollution. Plus factories to make these SMRs will need to be staffed, and that’ll bring more jobs.
Eco-friendly power? Jobs? What’s not to like? And to top it off, we won’t have to listen to “Mockingbird” by James Taylor and Carly Simon.