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Making Peace With Nuclear

Fortnightly Magazine - April 2008

do to help ensure the nuclear renaissance doesn’t get derailed by irrational opposition?

Moore: They should continue to support and build the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. I co-chair that organization with [former EPA Secretary] Christine Todd Whitman.

Beyond that, the industry needs to develop an easily understood explanation of the scenario where we shift from old technology to cleaner technology. I don’t think there’s a single formula, but we do need a high-level plan that everybody understands and moves toward.

It’s not easy to find consensus because there are many competing interests. But it seems to me one of the very best tools we have is smart metering and dynamic pricing. The industry’s capacity factor is designed to meet peak load. Applied correctly, things like smart metering, ground-source heat pumps and plug-in cars can really flatten out the peak. And then, if the electricity powering those pumps and vehicles is coming from clean sources like nuclear, wind and hydro, then we’ve radically altered our fossil fuel consumption.

The industry needs to develop a clearer vision of that future. People still have too many things coming at them. They don’t really see how it all fits together, but the technology is coming. By 2010 we’ll see plug-in cars coming off the assembly line. If you charge with nuclear there’s no CO 2. It’s a beautiful formula.