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Memo to the President-Elect (Part 1)

A clear and present need for nuclear energy expansion.

Fortnightly Magazine - November 2008

notable environmentalists as James Lovelock (developer of the Gaia theory) and Patrick Moore (co-founder of Greenpeace), who now advocate the expanded use of nuclear energy to address environmental concerns, the general public appears to have become receptive to nuclear energy use. As such, some 30 applications have been, or will be, submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for new plant construction—the first to be considered in this country since the building boom of the 1970s.

The new president can help America take the next steps, and lay the groundwork for an expansion of nuclear energy use in the United States.

 

Editor’s Note: Continues in Part II , in Public Utilities Fortnightly’s December 2008 issue.

 

Endnotes:

1. U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2008; "Weekly Imports and Exports," http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_wkly_dc_NUS-Z00_mbblpd_w.htm.

2. Of the world’s 14 top net oil exporters listed on the U.S. Department of Energy website (www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/topworldtables1_2.html), two are listed as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State (www.state.gov/s/ct/c14151.htm). The State Department lists Iran, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia as areas of concern for breeding terrorists. Further, Venezuela, which is the third largest supplier of oil to the United States, has a regime that is actively hostile to U.S. interests.

3. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4), nitrous oxide (NO X), and ozone, with CO 2 being the most important anthropogenic ( i.e., man-made) GHG. The global atmospheric concentration of CO 2 has increased from a value of about 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm) in the pre-industrial era ( i.e., the 650,000 years before 1750) to 379 ppm in 2005. The annual CO 2 concentration growth rate was larger during the last 10 years ( e.g., 1995-2005 average: 1.9 ppm/year), than it has been since the beginning of continuous direct atmospheric measurements ( e.g., 1960-2005 average: 1.4 ppm/year) although there is year-to-year variability in growth rates. The global increases in CO 2 concentration are due primarily to fossil-fuel use and land-use change, while those of NH 4 and NO X are primarily due to agriculture. Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, Vol. 1, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC; http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/assessments-reports.htm.

4. The IPCC (http://www.ipcc.ch/) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide independent scientific advice on the climate-change issue. The IPCC does not carry out research nor does it monitor climate-related data or other relevant parameters. It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature.

5. Patz, J. A. , P. R. Epstein, T. A. Burke and J. M. Balbus; 1996; “Global Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases;” Journal of the American Medical Association ; Vol. 275 No. 3, January 17, 1996.

6. Developed nations will not be immune to the impacts of GCC, as demonstrated by the ongoing