NUCLEAR POWER GETS FRESH LOOK
March 21, 2008
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have signaled a new era of common sense for California regarding energy matters by announcing last week that nuclear power has a great future and should be considered, says the Appeal Democrat. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, (R-Irvine) has introduced two bills (AB 1776 and AB 2788) in the current session to repeal the state's nuclear power-plant prohibition.
Schwarzenegger and DeVore are joined by public opinion that increasingly looks favorably on nuclear energy:
- A 2006 poll of likely voters, for example, showed those favoring nuclear power to be equal to those opposed, each drawing 46 percent of responders.
- That's an impressive increase from just one year before when opponents were 55 percent and those in favor only 37 percent.
There are at least 434 operating nuclear reactors worldwide meeting the electrical needs of a billion-plus people, according to a report by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA):
- Nuclear power provides about 75 percent of France's energy and even 20 percent of U.S. power from 103 nuclear plants, including two California plants in San Onofre and Diablo Canyon.
- China plans 30 new nuclear reactors in the next five years.
- For 30 years there were no applications processed for nuclear plants in California, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received seven applications in the last year alone and expects another dozen by year's end, representing a total of 22 reactors, according to the Sacramento Bee.
- A single, quarter-ounce pellet of uranium creates as much energy as three and a half barrels of oil, 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas or 1,780 pounds of coal -- without CO2 emissions.
Source: Editorial, "Nuclear Power Gets Fresh Look," Appeal-Democrat, March 21, 2008.
For NCPA study:
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