AP McCain calls for building 45 new nuclear reactors

jetsetter

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Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:30pm EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (Reuters) - Republican John McCain would put the United States on course to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 if elected president, the Arizona senator said on Wednesday.

McCain, his party's presumptive nominee in this fall's presidential election, is laying out his plan to make the country energy independent.

"If I am elected president, I will set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America," he said.

There are 104 operating nuclear reactors nationwide at present, which generate about 20 percent of the nation's power supply.

McCain has argued forcefully for further nuclear plants, seeing them as part of a solution to fighting climate change and establishing U.S. energy independence.

Sen. Barack Obama, McCain's presumptive Democratic opponent, has issued supportive statements about nuclear power but has set no outright goal for building plants.

Though nuclear energy is key to meeting U.S. climate concerns, the issue of disposing of nuclear waste from U.S. plants and solving nuclear proliferation concerns are also paramount, Obama's campaign said on its website.

The key roadblock to new U.S. nuclear plants has been finding a home for nuclear waste. Congress designated Yucca Mountain, 90 miles from Las Vegas, to be the nation's waste repository, but the site is years behind schedule and may never open because of powerful opponents like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not issued a new nuclear plant license since the mid 1970s and utility companies have balked for years at constructing new sites because of concerns about plant safety and cost overruns.

McCain, speaking at a campaign event on energy in the electoral battleground state of Missouri, added he would set aside $2 billion a year for research and development into clean coal technology.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSWBT00921120080618?sp=true

A fantastic idea. I truly hope this comes to pass when McCain is elected. For years others and I have been trying to convince people that nuclear is the way to go but unfortunately ignorance is widespread.
 

JipJopJones

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I hope this happens too, if he is elected.

The reason being, with the conservative government of canada shadowing everything the US is doing, perhaps we can get some Nuclear power in Canada (BC in particular) instead of the coal plants they are going to build.
 

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jayjaya29

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Nuclear is great, but what about the waste.

To make modern nuclear power plants more efficient, they have improved how they conduct the fission within the reactor and how its cooled and other advances, the only downside due to these improvements is that the waste is actually more radioactive then the waste created from older nuclear plants.

So the biggest problem is the waste...
 

Viper007Bond

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Nuclear is great, but what about the waste.

Of course nuclear isn't perfect, but at least we can control the waste rather than it going into the atmosphere.
 

thedguy

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Nuclear is great, but what about the waste.

To make modern nuclear power plants more efficient, they have improved how they conduct the fission within the reactor and how its cooled and other advances, the only downside due to these improvements is that the waste is actually more radioactive then the waste created from older nuclear plants.

So the biggest problem is the waste...

Paging Dr. Spectre, Paging Dr. Spectre....

Waste is only a problem because of our retarded laws on recycling the fuel. Spectre knows a boat load more the politics behind it than I do though.

My dad was telling me that after Carter had passed some bill, the people in the local bar in the town we lived in were pissed. Their reason for being pissed is because they were being forced to take perfectly usable uranium with a nasty half-life and bury rather than recycle it and use it in ever decreasing reactors until it's half-life becomes negligible.

The bar is located in the town of Richland Washington, the first place setup to enrich uranium for much of the US' Nuclear arsenal up until the 80's.
 

Spectre

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Paging Dr. Spectre, Paging Dr. Spectre....

Waste is only a problem because of our retarded laws on recycling the fuel. Spectre knows a boat load more the politics behind it than I do though.

My dad was telling me that after Carter had passed some bill, the people in the local bar in the town we lived in were pissed. Their reason for being pissed is because they were being forced to take perfectly usable uranium with a nasty half-life and bury rather than recycle it and use it in ever decreasing reactors until it's half-life becomes negligible.

The bar is located in the town of Richland Washington, the first place setup to enrich uranium for much of the US' Nuclear arsenal up until the 80's.

Someone rang?

The only country that has a nuclear waste disposal problem, of those that are using nuclear power, is the US. No other nuclear power in the world has a waste disposal issue.

Why? Everyone else in the world takes their spent fuel rods, puts them in a special kind of reactor, reprocesses them, and reuses them again and again. When it's burned completely, the waste you're left with is a tiny percentage of the original mass. Waste disposal on that scale is negligible. The only objectionable part of the process is that plutonium is a byproduct. And, as we all know, plutonium can be used to make bombs... but you can make bombs out of uranium as well, and if you have the technology to use nuclear power, you inherently have the technology and materials to make nuclear bombs. Of course, you can burn the plutonium in reactors to make energy instead of bombs - and that's what most countries do. It's currently pretty much a non-issue for most countries. Reprocessing is not exactly a proliferation threat - or rather, no more of one than any other nuclear technology.

Enter Jimmy Carter. As Frontline said:

On April 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would defer indefinitely the reprocessing of spent nuclear reactor fuel. He stated that after extensive examination of the issues, he had reached the conclusion that this action was necessary to reduce the serious threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, and that by setting this example, the U. S. would encourage other nations to follow its lead.

President Carter's Executive Order also announced that the U. S. would sponsor an international examination of alternative fuel cycles, seeking to identify approaches which would allow nuclear power to continue without adding to the risk of nuclear proliferation. More than thirty nations participated over almost three years. But no new magic answer could be found.

Some other nations went ahead with reprocessing and breeder development, but high costs and loss of political support delayed plans in many nuclear projects around the world. The U. S. never regained its technological lead in nuclear energy development, its own nuclear power program had already gone from orders to cancellations, and the dream of long-term future energy security from breeder reactors faded away. The three years of uncertainty about the future had wiped away further prospects for private investments in the nuclear fuel cycle. Today, twenty years later, all U.S. spent fuel remains in storage at each plant where it was used.

Good old Jimmuh Cahtah, in an attempt to make a gesture to less developed nations, unilaterally ended US reprocessing. Congress later passed a law making the EO permanent. Meanwhile NOBODY outside the US paid any attention, and more countries joined the nuclear club anyway. Like so much of Carter's (and his fellow Democrats') agenda, it was an empty gesture that would never accomplish anything but to hurt the US - and make us look like idiots.

And the nuclear waste continues to pile up. At last estimate, if the uranium ran out today, we could reprocess all the nuclear waste stockpiled around the country and have enough fuel to last the projected future energy needs of the US... for the next two hundred and fifty years.

Thanks to this, the US no longer has a commercial nuclear industry. It's all gone out of biz or been bought by the Japanese or the French. GE is barely clinging to life in the industry, and they're a bad fourth or fifth choice if you want a nuclear plant.

Got a nuclear waste problem? Blame Carter and the Democrats.
Got a lack of power problem? Blame the Democrats, who have blocked new nuclear plant construction on the grounds (among others) of the big waste problem *they* created!
Got a problem with your power bill? Blame the Democrats, who want green and clean energy, but don't want to pay for it or allow for it to be built - they're protesting/blocking the construction of *solar* plants out in the frigging deserts now.

FYI, Carter is also responsible for the current mess in the Middle East and Iran, specifically.

Before I get attacked, I should mention that I am neither Republican nor Democrat and have voted for both parties at different times.
 
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nist7

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WTF....so we are perfectly capable of reprocessing these spent fuel again and again but we just bury them after one life cycle?

And isn't the US reactors quite old? I've heard that because of the public/political pressures over the years, the last nuclear plant built was like decades ago. And we now have much improved designs but can't do any innovation because of....well I guess those darn democrats!

I definitely agree with Senator McCain on this one. Nuclear is THE energy solution for the forseeable long-term future, in addition to developing other non-fossil fuel energy solutions. I think there was a town in Missouri that became the first one to have all their electricity derived from solar power, which is a good precedent since we can use the big nuclear plants for big cities and small cities and towns can start to develop other clean sources of power generation.
 

Viper007Bond

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Nuclear has such a bad wrap. If we had been investing in it all this time, it woulda been so damn safe. Hell, I was reading about cool stuff like spheres rather than rods and shit to make the reactor and reactors that are damn near meltdown proof.
 
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thedguy

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Nuclear has such a bad wrap. If we had been investing in it all this time, it woulda been so damn safe. Hell, I was reading about cool stuff like spheres rather than rods and shit to make the reactor and reactors that are damn near meltdown proof.

The modern designs on the table are EXTREMELY SAFE. Even so, as Penn & Teller pointed out, how many fatalities have we had due to nuclear power (not bombs!) plants compared to say ANYTHING else?

Got a problem with your power bill? Blame the Democrats, who want green and clean energy, but don't want to pay for it or allow for it to be built - they're protesting/blocking the construction of *solar* plants out in the frigging deserts now.

Proof?

FYI, Carter is also responsible for the current mess in the Middle East and Iran, specifically.

Que? Last I checked it was Eisenhower's fantastic idea to "stop communism in Iran by helping the British get their oil company back" in 1953...
 

Viper007Bond

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And we now have much improved designs but can't do any innovation because of....well I guess those darn democrats!

Honestly I think political pressure ("not in my back yard!") is more to blame these days than any president or party. Everyone's scared shitless of it due to the bad wrap. If you actually live near a modern one though you'll find people like it as it's relatively safe and doesn't pollute the air.

Then again, it can go badly. This shithole has been leaking waste (or coming close) into the Columbia river for years. Back in the 40's and 50's, it was literally dumping shit right into the river.

Oh, and here's our Trojan:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2TFLlA3jA[/youtube]
 

Spectre

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I am definining "the current mess" as being terrorism exported from radical militant Islamic fundamentalist areas and countries, Iran being chief among these.

I'm not going to go into how Carter befriended the Shah of Iran or how I believe that Carter betrayed him. Let's go into specifics.

The Iranian Revolution began with the fall of the US embassy on 4 November 1979. Carter is partly to blame here for imposing rules of engagement and force protection postures that made it impossible for the Marines guarding the embassy to hold out. This despite months of warnings and actions that ran up to this.

An intentional attack on another country's embassy is an act of war. Go look it up.

So, the people who took the embassy toppled the Iranian Shah (not underservedly, honestly), and became the new government.

The very next thing that should have happened is that Iran should have been invaded, and those responsible should have been punished or shot. You *do not* invade a sovereign nation's embassy without consequences - unless Carter is president, because he did NOTHING.

The current President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, the one stirring up so much crap, was one of the revolutionary leaders that took over the embassy in 1979. This has been confirmed by several former hostages. If Carter had been doing his job, this guy would have been dead, and the revolution that "made Islamic fundamentalism a political force ... from Morocco to Malaysia" and is at the root of the West's current problems would have been crushed in its infancy.
 

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Then again, it can go badly. This shithole has been leaking waste (or coming close) into the Columbia river for years. Back in the 40's and 50's, it was literally dumping shit right into the river.

Back in the 40s and 50s, nobody really knew how bad this stuff was. Heck, they had people carrying around uranium hexaflouride (IIRC) in *open buckets* in the 40s - with no protective gear. See Richard Feinman's writings.

After that, HNR was so polluted, well.... NO cleanup was ever going to get it all.

Oh, and here's our Trojan:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2TFLlA3jA[/youtube]

Trojan's problem was that it was a Babcock and Wilcox plant - i.e., it was cheaply built. Three Mile Island was also a B&W plant.

B&W was banned from bidding on US military reactor contracts because their crap was so bad.

Even so, it turns out that TMI didn't actually cause any statistically significant health effects.
 

Firecat

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I'm not going to go into how Carter befriended the Shah of Iran or how I believe that Carter betrayed him. Let's go into specifics.

Yes, let's not get too involved with details. I agree with certain aspects of what you have said, and will explain below.

The Iranian Revolution began with the fall of the US embassy on 4 November 1979. Carter is partly to blame here for imposing rules of engagement and force protection postures that made it impossible for the Marines guarding the embassy to hold out. This despite months of warnings and actions that ran up to this.

The statement I underlined is incorrect. The revolution had been fermenting for quite some time, it was bound to happen. It had little (if anything) to do with U.S. foreign policy. By the time the U.S. Embassy was taken oven, Khomeni was already in power and the Shah had been deposed.

The embassy was attacked because the Shah was allowed into the United States (for medical attention). The new Iranian government wanted him in Iran to face trial. Another reason was because of the CIA involvement in overthrowing the democratically elected Mossadegh back in 1953. The former can be blamed on Carter, the latter predates his presidency.

*edit*

And yes, the Carter administration could have done more to stabilize the Shah but I still believe the revolution was inevitable for various other reasons.
 
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Spectre

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I should perhaps have said that "As far as the United States was concerned" the Revolution began on that date. Before that, while Iran was technically an ally, the revolution didn't really affect us all that much.

Unfortunately, what the Iranians learned from the embassy incident is that they could twit the US as much as they wanted and the US would do nothing - which is a dangerous lesson to have anyone learn.

As for the Carter vice the Shah discussion, that could fill an entire thread on its own. It already *has* filled at least four books that I am aware of - and my motive was to keep this thread on topic as much as possible.

I'm not really in top form today; as you can see from the Post Your Car forum, I pulled an allnighter to get my bike built yesterday and I'm not fully functional. Sorry about that. :p
 

Blind_Io

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I'm tired so I have not read the whole thread. The biggest problem is with how the US disposes of radioactive waste. We really need to build centrifuges to spin the waste down into fuel so we can really extract every bit of energy from it. As long as that is part of the plan, I'm all for it.
 

Firecat

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Unfortunately, what the Iranians learned from the embassy incident is that they could twit the US as much as they wanted and the US would do nothing - which is a dangerous lesson to have anyone learn.

I don't believe the Ayatollah was behind the hostage crisis, although he did approve of it. So I'm not sure how the United States would have gone to war and what their targets would have been. Perhaps the new regime could have been removed through war, perhaps thousands (on both sides) would have been killed. I can only speculate. But since the hostage crisis, the Iranians haven't exactly interfered with the United States. Maybe by proxy, but that goes both ways.

I want to remind you of the missed opportunity to normalize relations with Iran under Khatami. He was a moderate who made a huge gesture to the United States and was willing to negotiate. The Bush administration rejected this offer. Again, just speculation. But perhaps if the United States was willing to work with Iran, Ahmadinejad would not have even come into power (he of course succeeded Khatami)
 

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All ill say about the issue on hand is that i completely support Nuclear power. Coal power for example i believe kills at least a person a day in train accidents alone, although that might be a person a week. And of course i can't support wind power as everybody who has lived with it loathes it, and solar is great but as mentioned by Spectre its then protested by the people who endorse it, so MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS, YOU DUMBSHIT HIPPIES.

It will be interesting to see the debates unfold though. I'm not usually biased one way or another politically, but i will say that McCain sounds more like a proper republican then the homophobic, religiously distracted, illegal immigrant obsessed party leader we have now. Of course on the other hand i wish Democrats would stop worrying about the pseudo-environmental issues and get to work with actually "liberating" people and helping the poor, rather then just legislating ways to make peoples lives more inconvenient.
 

thedguy

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The embassy was attacked because the Shah was allowed into the United States (for medical attention). The new Iranian government wanted him in Iran to face trial. Another reason was because of the CIA involvement in overthrowing the democratically elected Mossadegh back in 1953. The former can be blamed on Carter, the latter predates his presidency.

*edit*

And yes, the Carter administration could have done more to stabilize the Shah but I still believe the revolution was inevitable for various other reasons.

Based on my limited knowledge of the subject, we shouldn't have tried to put the Shah back into power in the first place. Part of why Iran got pissed off at us is because we put him back into power after they booted him out, and nationalized the oil company (pissing off Britain who begged us to go in, when we refused they told Eisenhower Iran was going communist).


After that, HNR was so polluted, well.... NO cleanup was ever going to get it all.
Useless bit of information, I was born in the town where that resides...

Cue the "that explains a lot about you" cracks...
 
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