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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist, Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
  • 6,980 items added with 269,901 views
  • Feb 12, 2021

"As the United States faces several key challenges simultaneously — COVID-19, the economic crisis, social injustice and the rising threat of climate change — the federal government is looking for solutions that help address multiple issues at once. Recent commitments by President Biden are encouraging: by tying the post-pandemic economic recovery to investments in clean energy, we can tackle all four existential crises at the same time.

"During his campaign, Biden ran on a sweeping clean energy plan, pledging to achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 with net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050 as part of his “all of government” plan for climate. The president’s proposed tech-neutral approach opens the door for an inclusive plan to combat climate change, which includes nuclear power — the nation’s largest carbon-free source of energy. This marks the first time nuclear power has been a part of the Democratic platform since 1972.

"Additionally, we have seen increasing bipartisan congressional support for nuclear energy over the last decade. The new administration can build on this strong foundation by accelerating its investment in advanced nuclear energy to create new opportunities in the clean power sector and take meaningful steps towards cost-effective decarbonization. The nuclear industry can be ready to accomplish this with advanced technologies and a commitment to align with the equity-centered approach of the new administration."

John Miller's picture
John Miller on Feb 14, 2021

Bob, Nuclear Power is definitely going to be the most reasonable, feasible and cost-effective solution to displacing ‘Baseload’ Coal Power and eventually significant Natural Gas Power in the foreseeable future.  Those Climate Change Supporters who generally/only support building massive amounts of variable Wind & Solar Power, most often assume that Power Storage from Industrial scale batteries will soon be the ultimate solution to displacing Baseload Hydrocarbon (fueled) Power Generation.  They basically assume that Lithium batteries’ technologies will continue to become cheaper in the future as has been experienced with Automobiles and Computer/Phone batteries Markets over the past decade or two.  Unfortunately, with the rapid expansion of BEV’s, as most Developed Countries are projecting/planning, the huge increased demand for Lithium batteries will soon become the next World major supply shortage crisis in the future.  This will likely create a major constraint on replacing Hydrocarbon Power Generation supplies in the next couple decades with variable Wind & Solar Power generation; in both distributed and centralized designed Power Systems.  Assuming, of course, that Power Grids will be reliable for all Consumers.  This shortage/constraint in Li metals and batteries’ supplies will put a relatively quick end to reduced cost batteries supplies, and, make Nuclear Power rapidly the most cost effective ‘zero carbon’ Power Supplies option in the future.

Unfortunately, these supply-demand-cost factors will not likely influence the Biden Administration to make formal commitments to supporting and reasonably regulating increased Nuclear Power capacity in the foreseeable future.  Hopefully, someday the Federal Government and Regulators will adopt common sense and do reasonably accurate ‘costs-and-benefits’ analyses, the most accurate/reasonable ‘Science/Evaluations’ should deliver.  This, of course, is based on classic ‘Scientific Method in Practice’, as I and I am sure you, learned in College and practiced during our Professional-Technical Careers ever since.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 14, 2021

"Unfortunately, these supply-demand-cost factors will not likely influence the Biden Administration to make formal commitments to supporting and reasonably regulating increased Nuclear Power capacity in the foreseeable future."

John, before the election on several occasions Biden voiced his commitment to keeping existing plants open. After it he's been silent on the subject, although I see at there's an obtuse reference to that pledge:

"Biden will continue to leverage the carbon-pollution free energy provided by existing sources like nuclear and hydropower..."

Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said "the door is open to nuclear energy" in reference to her "Green New Deal". I feel as though the tide is turning, and as Russia and China sign development deals with other countries I sense consternation growing in political circles about the implications that trend might have for geopolitical power.

Maybe for once nuclear will benefit from fear, instead of forever being hindered by it?


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