Let’s back up a bit and look at the big picture. In 2009 we’re going to end up with a president who is pro-nuke energy and pro-coal powered energy. Present political posturing aside, that’s Barack Obama’s long-held position and that’s John McCain’s longer-held position.
Nevada Power wants to build one of these new-generation clean coal plants in Ely. Sen. Reid (for reasons that, frankly, don’t make much sense to me) has said in so many words "over my political dead body".
Yucca Mountain, meanwhile, lumbers on despite Democrats and Sen. Reid controlling the Senate and the House.
So, what’s all this mean for Nevada? Well, you can be sure that it absolutely doesn’t mean that we’re going to meet our power needs with solar, wind and geothermal power. That’s not going to happen.
But nuclear power could.The technology is already there; we’ll soon have a president favorable to the idea; and after another six months of $4-a-gallon gasoline (what if it gets to $10 a gallon?), Americans will be more in the mood for the "clean and efficient" power from nuke power plants. It doesn’t mean the idea of storing nuke waster in a one big tunnel at Yucca Mountain makes much sense. In fact, now that we’ve (rightly, by the way) decided to make the waste retrievable, we may as well store the waste on site of nuke power plants, or create regional plants to make the transportation safer. If we’re going to have a president who will green-light more nuke power plants in the United States, that makes better sense.
But of course, if we’re going to get back into nuclear power with regional dump sites … it also makes sense to park a big regional nuke power plant right next to Yucca Mountain, doesn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but that makes that clean coal plant in Ely sound like a good idea.