Sunday, September 27, 2009

Steven Chu Provides Clear Statements About The Importance of Nuc

You sort of have to understand where A-Rod is coming from. He's major-league pro-nuke guy although his arguments sometimes fall flat at which time he changes the subject and goes in another direction, still pro-nuclear. He lives in Annapolis but works in VA. He goes on and on at times about his modest lifestyle and his deep respect for the nuclear industry. Sometimes it sounds like he hung his hat on something that didn't quite pan out for him but he's in so deep, he can't get out. Just my humble opinion, of course, having sparred with him before. Here's his latest. I do appreciate his brinigng us Steven Chu's recent statements about Virginia's eager receptiveness toward nuclear power..."clean power". Looks like we've got lots of work to do!

On the Atomic Insights Blog, Rod Adams discusses energy supplies, energy technology, and energy politics from an atomic point of view. This blog is closely associated with Atomic Insights at

On the Atomic Insights Blog, Rod Adams discusses energy supplies, energy technology, and energy politics from an atomic point of view. This blog is closely associated with Atomic Insights at

by Rod Adams [aka Atomic Rod]

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I learned a lot time ago that it can be difficult, but not impossible to change the course of a very large vessel that has momentum going in a particular direction. Even when someone determines the necessity of a course change, the safe rate of change for the turn will be dependent upon the speed of travel. If the person on the helm wants to allow his passengers to maintain their balance, he will have to be judicious in the use of rudder orders so that the turn can be made gradually.

If done correctly, the turn can be almost imperceptible to the people on board. In order to make a smooth turn at high speed, the people who have determined that the turn is necessary have to pick a spot where there is sufficient space in which to complete the turn without colliding with other ships or with underwater hazards. The people who decide how to maneuver large vessels often put themselves into protected control rooms so that their actions do not get a lot of interference or distractions from people who do not have the full picture of the overall situation.

It is with that knowledge that I am a bit less worried than some of my colleagues or even some of my regular readers and Atomic Insights contributors about the direction that America is heading with regard to effectively using nuclear energy as a primary tool in the war against pollution, poverty, and partisan politics.

A couple of days ago, I found some important words from the man who has been assigned part of the task of helping to make a big turn in direction. Those words were in a publication that would have been relatively inaccessible and probably overlooked in a less connected time in our history. You can find Chu's comments on the web site of the Lynchburg (VA) News and Advance at Virginia to receive federal funds for energy projects. Here is what Steven Chu told some people in Virginia when the Department of Energy announced some relatively minor federal block grants for energy projects (totaling just $16.1 million).
“Virginia is a perfect example of having real economic opportunities in clean energy,” Chu said. “The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are at the forefront of clean-energy engineering,” he said.

In addition, “Virginia is a national leader in nuclear power,” and one-third of the state’s electrical energy comes from nuclear power, he said.

“We are eager to restart the nuclear program in the United States and we look forward to Virginia being part of that,” Chu said.

“We are in the final negotiations” for the federal government’s $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for the first utility companies that build new reactors, Chu said, “and I would personally like to see that loan guarantee program extended or renewed with additional money.”

(Emphasis added.)
It is certainly possible to be impatient about the length of time that it has taken to award loan guarantees. It can also be a bit discouraging to think about the amount of money now available from the federal government for nuclear energy projects compared to the amount given for home improvements, solar panels and wind turbines. That can be especially true if you happen to think that direct federal money is the prime enabler for nuclear energy deployment.

Read the rest of A-Rod's blog article here:

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