Nuclear Is Obviously Clean Energy | Eastern North Carolina Now

Under SB 678, North Carolina would recognize this fact about the state's most efficient, reliable electricity source

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Jon Sanders.

    A couple of years ago, I asked whether Gov. Roy Cooper could finally support nuclear power, since even Pres. Joe Biden was. Our existing nuclear power plants have pulled off a "rare feat in politics": "Nuclear produces zero emissions while at the same time being the most reliable and lowest-cost source of electricity. It checks all the boxes."

    I had to ask for several reasons. Nuclear power was conspicuously absent from the Cooper administration's initial "Clean Power Plan," but after weathering the bulk of public comments questioning its absence, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) answered with what former DEQ Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart called "a straightforward, categorical rejection of nuclear power."

    The North Carolina Utilities Commission's recently announced initial Carbon Plan wisely would extend our nuclear fleet's licenses and look into adding more. The Locke Foundation's Center for Food, Power, and Life had proposed a model "Least Cost Decarbonization" scenario to the Utilities Commission that would ultimately rely primarily on nuclear and storage by 2050 to achieve the goal of "carbon neutrality" by 2050.

    Model Least Cost Decarbonization Portfolio: Total Installed Capacity by Year

    The reliability of our nuclear power was on major display during the unprecedented Christmas Eve blackouts of 2022. While freezing of some instrumentation lines kept coal and natural gas facilities from producing as much power as expected, and while solar didn't produce at all except for the few hours when the sun was shining (which occurred after peak demand), nuclear's productivity was so steady one might mistake it for the upper bound line of the chart:

    Beyond the obvious - that nuclear is the most efficient, reliable source of electricity, which also happens to be a zero-emissions source - our scenario avoided Cooper's preferences for intermittent solar and wind for several reasons. Solar and wind:

  • are extremely expensive
  • require enormous swaths of land
  • are intermittent and unreliable (they are at the mercy of nature; at best, solar can produce for less than half a 24-hour day)
  • require backup generation for other times (adding to their expense) - and the backup source is invariably a source of carbon dioxideucl emissions

    I have long questioned why state law excludes nuclear from its list of "renewable" energy sources. A decade ago, in a report on the state's renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS), I pointed out that "nuclear, which emits no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, or nitrogen oxides, is expressly listed as an unapproved [renewable energy] source." It seemed a glaring flaw.

    That flaw would be remedied in Senate Bill 678. In its second edition as of this writing, SB 678 would rename the REPS the "Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CEPS)," and it would add "nuclear energy resources, including an uprate to a nuclear energy facility" as well as (nuclear) "fusion energy" to the definition of "clean energy resource."

    Carolina Journal has a story on SB 678 - sponsored primarily by Sens. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus; Buck Newton, R-Wilson; and Dave Craven, R-Randolph; with several cosponsors - and the importance of those changes.


    My colleague André Béliveau spoke in favor of the change, pointing out that, "Any endeavor seeking to lower carbon emissions while also seeking to maintain the reliability of any energy grid must have nuclear as part of the mix. Adding nuclear power to the legal definition of clean energy is a great next step."
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Big Bob said:
( June 9th, 2023 @ 6:16 pm )
I will say, when you latch on to something, you don't let go. Hope you're right!
( June 9th, 2023 @ 5:04 am )
What the globalists are after with their climate alarmist narrative was spelled out by the former President and Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Dr. Vaclav Klaus who described climate alarmism as "a budding totalitarian ideology that is the greatest threat to freedom , democracy, and prosperity in the world today." President Klaus sets it out in detail in his book "Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What is in jeopardy, climate or freedom?" which has been published in eight languages.
Big Bob said:
( June 8th, 2023 @ 6:44 pm )
Let me know how that one works out for ya!
( June 8th, 2023 @ 4:16 pm )
This is a broken record with false claims by the climate crazies. We have seen this before with wildfires in California, Australia, and Washington / Oregon, and we are now seeing it in Canada. The problem in all those past cases, and it this one, too, is that environmentalists have stopped the good forestry management practice of controlled burns of underbrush that used to be done on a regular basis. Without those controlled burns, it is much easier for fires to feed on the excess underbrush and get out of hand. As long as good forestry practices continue to be ignored, we will keep having problems with wildfires.

I remember last year when there were major floods in a part of north Germany, and the knee jerk explanation by the talking heads was "climate change". The real culprit, as is very often the case with flooding was deforestation. And guess why the forests in that area had been clear cut? To put up wind turbines and solar panels to "save the planet". That flooding was not caused by "climate change" but to the contrary was caused by climate alarmism.
Big Bob said:
( June 8th, 2023 @ 3:45 pm )
The only hope for a course correction is for people to feel it. NY is feeling it
( June 8th, 2023 @ 2:38 pm )
IF the Canadian wildfires are what you are beating a dead horse over, wildfires have become a problem ever since the environmental crazies started overruling forestry experts to end the controlled burns that used to keep these big wildfires from happening. This is just like medieval religion - blaming it on climate instead of the real culprit. This is nott a punishment from "manmade climate change" any more than every adverse situation in the Middle Ages was a "punishment from God". But heck, in your Climate Scientology cult, you can even buy "indulgences" like the Pope sold in medieval times. ONly now your cult calls them "carbon offsets" and the "pope" of the climate cult, Al Gore, sells them.
Big Bob said:
( June 8th, 2023 @ 1:26 pm )
Tough to debunk when the AQI is 500. Just sayin
( June 8th, 2023 @ 12:19 pm )
The new pagan cult of Climate Scientology is a lot like the medieval church. Then anything bad that happens was called a punishment from God. Now the climate cultists try to tell us anything bad that happens is a punishment from manmade global warming. Those claims such as related to hurricanes regularly has to be debunked.
Big Bob said:
( June 8th, 2023 @ 10:09 am )
looks lie the East Coast is feeling its first tangible effects from climate change. Imagine that?
( May 31st, 2023 @ 7:04 pm )
Listin to that British TV documentary and you will learn why that emission rate is a big red herring. It is meaningless. Step outside your narrative and listen to some real science for a change.
Big Bob said:
( May 31st, 2023 @ 6:33 pm )
I can figure out the emission rates, and holy cow, its a lot!
( May 31st, 2023 @ 5:28 pm )
Says the man who only thinks there is a problem because he cannot process any infomration outside the globalist narrative on climate alarmism. COs has never driven warming or colling in the past, and there is no reason except pliticized science fiction to say that it suffenly does now. Watch that British TV documentary and listen to all those prominent scientists on it, Little Bobbie, and you might learn something.
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