Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nuclear industry's "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition" answers the question "Why nuclear?"

The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition is an organization founded by the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton in 2006 and funded by the nuclear industry. Dr. Patrick Moore a spokesman for the organization will be in San Antonio in September and participate in the San Antonio Clean Tech Forum's San Antonio’s Nuclear Power Investment Decision forum.

On their site they answer the question "Why Nuclear?" with the following in support of increased reliance up nuclear power:

Lately, there has been an increased buzz around nuclear energy, with 17 consortia applying for 30 new reactors, editorials in support of nuclear energy in major national newspapers, and a wide variety of organizations that have joined the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.

Why are all these different voices supporting nuclear energy and what do you need to know to make your choice to support nuclear energy?

The basics:
Nuclear already provides 20 percent of the United State’s electricity and with electricity demands expected to increase 21 percent nationally by 2030, the U.S. needs more nuclear energy if it wants to keep up with our energy needs. Conservation alone won’t meet our growing needs and nuclear energy can’t be the only solution – a diverse mix of energy sources will serve us best. However, as we look down the road, we should promote an increase in the use of nuclear energy as the environmentally clean and reliable path to take in meeting our country’s needs effectively.

Nuclear energy is:


* Nuclear energy is an environmentally clean option to produce electricity choice – it produces no harmful greenhouse gases suspected to cause global warming and no gases that could cause ground-level ozone formation, smog or acid rain.
* Nuclear already accounts for 73 percent of the nation’s emission-free electricity generation and needs be used in compliment with other renewables. Alternative renewable energy sources are important, but can only take us so far – wind and solar can be unreliable and geothermal power isn’t well-suited for all applications. The other major sources of emission-free electricity are hydroelectric plants, which provide 6.6 percent of our nation’s electricity; wind energy, 0.4 percent; and solar energy, 0.01 percent.

Safe and Secure

* Nuclear energy is a safe choice. For example, you would have to live near a nuclear power plant for more than 2,000 years to get the same amount of radiation exposure that you receive from a single diagnostic medical x-ray.
* Nuclear energy is secure. A two-day national security simulation in Washington, D.C., in 2002 conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) concluded nuclear plants “are probably our best defended targets,” with the industry spending $1.2 billion in security since September 11, 2001.

Affordable and Reliable

* With rising energy costs a concern for every American, nuclear energy is an affordable and reliable economic choice for electricity. Nuclear power has the lowest production cost of the major sources of electricity. Nuclear plants are the most efficient on the electricity grid and their costs are more predictable than many other energy sources.

Economically Beneficial

* Nuclear energy brings economic benefits. From new jobs around new plants to adding $430 million a year to the economy for each new plant brought on line, nuclear plants bring significant economic benefits. Additionally, employees at the plant earn an average of 36 percent more than average earnings in the surrounding communities, so the jobs are high-paying. Perhaps that is why an opinion survey, Zogby International, found that two-thirds of Americans (67%) support the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.S., with nearly half (46%) indicating strong support for new plants.


* Nuclear technology is on the cutting-edge of American innovation. One out of every three people hospitalized benefits from nuclear procedures. Nuclear technologies helps to make food and water safer and holds promise as a reliable means of producing potable water from seawater, a process known as desalination. Indeed, in its many uses, nuclear technology improves the quality of life for Americans.

America was one of the first countries to realize the benefits of nuclear energy. But we are no longer alone. Many nations around the world depend on nuclear energy today. In 2005, a total of 16 countries relied on nuclear energy for at least 25 percent of their total electricity needs. Some, like France, generated 76 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy.

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