Skip to main content

View Diary: The Nuclear Shill Apologizes. (157 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I see Bush's (or rather, the leadership's) role (0+ / 0-)

    as is described in the IAEA document Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (IAEA, 2005). In this document, Director General Mohamad ElBaradei and a group of experts outline what they see as the fundamental prerequisites to fulfilling what I interpret as NNadir's (but not only NNadir's) nuclear vision - Nuclear power deployed not only to battle climate change issues within a given country, but to address global energy demands in general while assuring fuel supply and minimising proliferation risk.

    From the Executive Summary, p11.

    1. In reality, countries will enter into such multilateral arrangements according to the economic and political incentives and disincentives offered by these arrangements. A political environment of mutual trust and consensus among the partners - based on full compliance with the agreed nuclear non-proliferation obligations of the partners - will be necessary for the successful negotiation, creation and operation of an MNA [Multilateral Nuclear Approach].

    Is the current US administration doing its best to foster international trust? Does the US proposed GNEP work to this end, or is it simply a strategy to keep 'baddies' away from specific fuel cycle technologies? How's America's political Karma at the moment?

    •  Well, there is currently much confusion ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      over GNEP and a difference of opinion between the Bush administration, the US Congress, the DOE, and industry over where things are going.

      In Congress, GNEP has fallen somewhat out of favor and other, more short-term projects, such as building a prototype High Temperature Reactor in Idaho, have been given a higher priority.

      Personally, using my usual pragmatic approach to things, I see this as not a bad thing. The current plan for GNEP, particularly the amount of funding envisioned for it, is insufficient in my opinion to result in a substantial solution. I believe that such a project is essential, and I would love to see it go forward, but its goals are long-term and will require more than the resources that have been promised under the current plan. At best, it is probably a good first step.

      The fact that Congress is focusing on something that is more short-term and more likely to actually be completed encourages me to think that they actually want to see something accomplished that is more than just a bunch of studies and a bunch of designs on paper.

      I wouldn't call Bush's role in the revitalization of nuclear energy as an option for the future a bad thing. It does appear to suffer from a short attention span, but that is nothing new to anyone who has followed the energy sector for the last 30 years.

      •  In general I try to remain optimistic as well. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LIsoundview, Plan9

        I saw Mr. Marty Virgilio, Deputy Executive Director of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission speak recently. The topic was 'The Nuclear Renaissance'. Most of the presentation was about GNEP, but focused on the NRC's ramping up to support what are really Gen-IV reactor designs (fast reactors, and in particular fast burners). There was also an overview of pending/expected US license applications etc.; in general a very informative and interesting presentation.

        One question was about the multilateral fuel cycle mentioned above. Some type of multilateral approach is fundamental to GNEP. The question asked if - in its ramp-up programme - the NRC was preparing to assess / license spent fuel shipments returning from, say, Africa for processing/burning in the US. Mr. Virgilio's answer was, sadly, 'no, they are not'. He was unsure if such shipments would fall under the jurisdiction of the NRC or DOE.

        My point is simply that I agree totally with your reply. While there is cause for optimism, there is indeed a lot of confusion; hence the opportunity for competent leaders to prove themselves.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site