AMAC Exclusive – By Luke Allen
In an alarming piece of news that went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media last week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a U.S. regulatory authority, published a report warning that large sections of the United States are at the highest risk they have faced in decades of “energy emergencies” and blackouts. Now, the Biden administration is in a desperate scramble to keep aging nuclear power plants online to avoid such a scenario – ignoring all the while how liberal energy policies have put the country in such a precarious position to begin with.
In an attempt to avoid blackouts – a situation that would, in addition to upending the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans, devastate Democrats in the midterm elections – the Biden administration announced last month they would make $6 billion in credit available to keep aging and unprofitable nuclear plants open. The move is a bit of a Hail Mary for a nuclear fleet which is made up of reactors with an average age of 40 years.
Notably, the credit line wouldn’t be so urgently needed if coal-fueled power plants – which could have easily remained viable for at least 20 more years – hadn’t been shut down to appease environmental groups. The Obama and Biden administrations’ insistence on so-called “Zero Net Carbon” energy policies has made the grid vulnerable just as President Trump warned on several occasions, and now the White House is in catch-up mode.
As Biden continues Obama’s war on the American coal and gas industry, he has also continued Obama’s failure to set in place any plan to reliably replace the power generation lost by de-commissioning coal plants. While the fringe environmental groups who have the ear of elected Democrats are adamantly opposed to coal, oil, and natural gas, they are also opposed to investment in nuclear, which is the only energy supply that has any hope of replacing the output of fossil fuels.
As a result, the only nuclear plants currently being built, Georgia Power’s Vogtle Units 3 and 4, are 250% over budget and still not online. Meanwhile, other developed countries like France are currently undertaking the construction of seven nuclear reactors.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the hesitancy to invest in nuclear is the potential for catastrophe, as the world has witnessed on a few occasions. But even this fear is often exaggerated, and ignores the important advances that have been made in nuclear safety since the disasters of the 20th century.
Take, for example, the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, which changed everything about nuclear power, especially in the United States. No nuclear disaster before or since received such saturated news coverage. This thermal overload of a nuclear reactor that was part equipment failure, part procedure non-compliance, and part personnel error, opened the nuclear generation industry to massive regulation and the involvement of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission into every aspect of nuclear power plant operations. Many of the new regulations were needed and beneficial, but as with any other federal program, many regulations were also overkill and resulted in making nuclear power massively expensive.
The catastrophic Chernobyl accident in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 also triggered a global backlash against nuclear power. However, the former incident can be attributed to atrocious safety practices in the Soviet Union, and the latter to a freak natural disaster. Both incidents also taught the nuclear community a great deal about how to build safer, more reliable nuclear reactors.
The truth is that the overall nuclear power fleet in the United States has an outstanding safety record across many decades. In fact, the sister unit at Three Mile Island ran safely and reliably for 45 years and wasn’t retired until 2019.
Promising new technology already exists that could make a nuclear power comeback both practicable and safe within a decade. In recent years, the Department of Energy has provided millions of dollars in research grants to help develop Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). These reactors can vary in capacity from 10 to 300 megawatts, enough to power a small town or a large city.
The first and only SMR to receive design approval from the NRC is the NuScale Power Company’s design. By the end of this decade, their first power plant will begin operation in the United States in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and will have a state-of-the-art cooling system that doesn’t require electric pumps that failed in the Three Mile Island incident. It is designed to be the safest reactor ever built and will automatically shut itself down and keep the core cool for weeks if necessary. Additional design features make this plant much more efficient and cheaper to build than the previous generation of nuclear power plants.
Renewable energy is intermittent and cannot possibly satisfy America’s energy needs, especially in light of the coming wave of electric cars. Solar and wind don’t generate electricity when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow. The land use required for renewables is enormous. In order the satisfy the nation’s demand for electricity, we would have to cover an area the size of California with unsightly windmills. If the world insists on going carbon free in energy production, nuclear power must make a comeback, and soon.
The Biden administration must recognize this fact should they hope to keep the lights on in the months and years ahead. While Republicans should continue to follow President Trump’s lead by making coal, oil, and natural gas an important part of America’s energy supply again, rebuilding what Democrats have destroyed may take decades. In the meantime, a real investment in nuclear is the only viable option.
Luke Allen is the penname of a freelance writer and former Senior Energy Advisor in the Trump Administration
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He continued Obama’s failure to set in place any plan to reliably replace…….must have followed Crazy aunt Nancy’s advice: Let’s do it and figure out how it works afterward. I wonder if Californians will remain in love with aunt Nancy after this “administration” is done with us?
Ironic how we can operate a nuclear Navy but for some reason these units can’t be used for domestic benefit.
I imagine a line of floating nuclear generators along all of our coasts including de-salinization plants for clean water.
But that makes sense so the dimbulbocrats will do everything to prevent it.
When my husband & I vacationed in small island Aruba several years back, the tour took us next to their desalination unit, the 2nd largest in the world at that time, with Saudi having the largest. If Aruba can do a desalination unit, there is no reason why there couldn’t be multiple around all coasts of the United States. Pure laziness and lack of knowledge with our government. Pure laziness on California’s part, I guess they’d rather see their territory suffering in their continuous drought.
Tree huggers don’t want so called “unsightly” buildings along the coast line.
I have an all electric home. No central AC. Only window AC. I’m actually thinking that we might be better off since the cost of Everything is at a point that I can’t afford much of anything! Great job you are doing on the Legal Citizens Of The United States Biden!!!
Do I detect a big of sarcasm,,,, or are you just trying to find out how many negative reds you can score on you post!! LOL
Hal, to me it sounds like K is already cutting back, and doesn’t have the extra money to pay for much more of these high prices being imposed upon everyone of us. We are all living on a set income, and tightening up the belts more along the way. And doing without.
But the article missed the main point, which is when all these plants eventually all shutdown for whatever reasons, where is the power for utilities going to come from? I have yet to see proof that any renewable energy sources that are so-call environmentally safe are as efficient as the current producers of energy. So far the maximum amount they can produce is about 25% of current need. So are we supposed to just stop using 75% of our needs—no heat or lights for 75% of the day. Plus there’s no guarantee that the utility costs are going to be cheaper.
MariaRose, see my initial comments below. That is the answer to your question/s. Barb
biden isn’t productive enough for him to be considered dithering
DICTATOR Beijing biden puts LOSERS Environmentalist first to appease just like Hussein Obama did RUINING the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
WHEN ARE AMERICANS GOING TO LEARN EVERY TIME A FASCIST liberal is in WHITE HOUSE EVERYTHING COST 15x’s or MORE INCLUDING TAXES EACH DAY FASCIST ARE IN Office.
IT DOESN’T TAKE A GENIUS TO FIGURE IT OUT.
JUST LOOK AT YOUR WALLET and FREEDOMS ON HOW FAST DICTATOR Beijing biden and FASCIST liberals ARE DESTROYING NOT ONLY OUR COUNTRY BUT YOU PERSONALLY.
Too bad this is a site for mainly conservatives/Republicans. The ones who are voting for people like Biden and other Democrats, for the most part, don’t see these comments. I wonder if they regret voting for Biden and his cronies, paying high prices for gas, groceries, etc.??
Most of the ones who vote for people like Biden have a low reading comprehension, or are in jail, or can’t read at all.
Or are busy robbing stores, burning buildings and protesting not having a clue of what they’re protesting about.
Sadam Obama and Mao Tse Biden do seem to blend well with the DemocRats.
Grandpa Joe has got to go! It would make a nice bumper sticker, don’t you think?
SAVE THE U.S.A. arrest and exterminate all demonrats,libturds, commies, and nazis!!!…It’s time for another civil war!!!
Libturds and Commies will feel insulted if you lump them together with DemocRats!!!!!!
Haeslt…Libturds and Commies ARE all DemocRats… TRAITORS!!!!!!
Sorry, Haeslt should be Hal…where’s the edit button?
Someone should tell the econologists they cannot have their cake and take yours too.
There was a recent article that the russian gov has been funding the greens to put us into this position, ie, increase their income.
OH BOY! WAIT UNTIL THERE ARE LINES WAITING TO CHARGE ELECTRIC VEHICLES. LOL. KMA! STOP THIS KAMIKAZE CRAP. DESTRUCTIVE INCOMPETENCE IS ALIVE AND WELL.
lol… Just wait till you have to drive from San Antonio to El Paso, an 8-10 hour drive, no charge stations or maybe 1-2 at the roadside park, the stations are already taken, there are cars ahead of yours…. That 8-10 hour trip in one day will now take you 4-5 days to get there. Happy traveling!
Alternative. Buy a trailer, several gasoline or diesel fuel cans, and a reasonable sized diesel or gasoline generator. That way, your EV can tow its own charging station. Maybe you can make the whole trip in one day or so. LOL.
What are you going to put in those gasoline and diesel cans when there is no more? There is already talk of long lines coming, and a diesel fuel shortage. How far do you plan on getting with empty cans and a generator? Save your money, don’t buy a trailer right now. Or an EV…..
Oh. I forgot to tell you to get a large piggy bank as fossil fuel will be damned expensive and you may have to hunt for a supplier.
Biden’s dithering is part of the plan to delay any real benefits in order to further destroy America and then act like they “save” us by getting us into the globalists one-world order. It’s an evil plan devised by Godless, Satanic, evil people like Biden, Harris, Pelosi and the Demo/Marxist party.
Include George Soros in that demented group!
You can include Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos.
Godless, Satanic, evil, corrupt… anti-Republic traitor, Commie Obamie. is a major player,
Don’t forget clintons and bernie mitten sanders
Call them what they are ……
Unfortunately, the only sources of “green power” that the hard-core environmental lobbyists want is either wind or solar. For them, no form of nuclear power would ever be acceptable. No matter how safe or field proven elsewhere in the world. Nuclear technology has evolved quite a bit since all the instances you have referenced in your article. This aversion towards any acceptance or use of nuclear power is a purely ideological mandate from them. It is not based on any scientific reasoning or rational thought processes based on conversations I’ve had with many in the so-called “green movement”.
Neither wind nor solar are able to deliver the kind of consistent baseload power required for a first world industrial nation to function with any degree of reliability. Brownouts and blackouts are consistent with large states or countries trying to rely on so-called “green power” without adequate back-up fossil fuel or nuclear power already in place. Europe learned this the hard way in their knee jerk over-reaction to the Fukushima accident in Japan. They have since had to buy power from other European countries that still use reliable and clean natural gas power plants at a high premium. Also, countries like Germany have had to resort to building coal fired power plants to compensate for the irregular nature of their wind and solar farms, which replaced their cleaner natural gas power plants. In short, hundreds of billions if Euros wasted in pursuit of a so-called green energy source that won’t be up to the task for at least another 30 to 50 years, if ever.
Our energy transmission grid would require hundreds of billions, if not a couple of trillion dollars in upgrades and redesigns to transfer power from the remote, open spaces with the proper weather conditions to supply our existing population centers. None of this seems to phase the “green power” crowd or the Democrats. Not surprising since many Democrat politicians seem to have some very large financial stakes in so-called “green energy” companies both here and abroad. So the more they push “green energy” here at all costs to the American consumer, the more money they stand to make for themselves.
I too have tried to understand the greenies. Ive found that if they are questioned in a non threatening way one finds the foundation of their thought process. There’re too many humans on the planet. The earth is gasping for breath but is being choked out by a fungal like growth. Thats how they see people. So its like this: they oppose nuc power not because they believe it too dangerous but rather because of its efficacy. Huh? Right. Cheap energy would, in their view , enable life to go on as it has. Thus the overpopulation they fear and loathe continues. In short, ultra high priced, unreliable wind and solar will serve as a brake on population growth.
Yes, I have had many conversations with a number of greenies over the years as well. Everyone from the folks that show up at those rallies to protest one or another thing to the leaders of some of these organizations looking for large donations. The latter have made very lucrative careers out of opposing any sort of human activity that would benefit mankind under the guise of environmental concerns. After you spend some time talking to any of these folks, they will eventually drop the talking points and start discussing what they are really motivated by. They all view humanity as a plague or disease on the planet, that needs to be contained, if not wiped out of existence completely. Faux concern for the environment is just the thin veneer they hide behind to mask their real agenda. Which is stopping the advancement of the human race so it might revert to what we were before the industrial revolution in the late 18th century or even earlier than that. All except for them of course.
They are generally against anything related to any form of energy that is neither wind nor solar, because that would allow humanity to thrive. They are against any sort of expansion of business or jobs, because that would lead to a greater human population which must be stopped at all costs. Any innovative use of old facilities to foster neighborhood or regional development of growth is a big no-no, because then there would be more people. They are even against the licensing for constructing the very solar and wind projects they claim they support, but don’t actually want built anywhere. What they ultimately want is economic stagnation, that will lead to shortages of everything and then the eventual decline of the human population as society can no longer support the size of the global population that exists today.
Many thanks for your prodigious efforts. Most folks assume the best about the greens, that theyre idealists perhaps ahead of their time. They don’t realize that certain seminal ‘thinkers’ have had outsize influence on them, such as paul ehrlich. They sweep aside the triumphs of borlaug as delaying tactics. To again quote sowell, they have a vision , one you refer to, of an earth prior to the industrial revolution, with a population perhaps a tenth of today. Hive like cities tightly controlled and wilderness beyond where the earths rightful inhabitants gambol about. In short its far more malignant than commonly thought.
Paul E, I’ve read so many of your comments and how I wish Biden and all his ilks would have even 10 percent of your wisdom. The democrats/progressives/liberals/ libturds, MSM don’t even know what common sense means.
You need to put on your headset and use your id on the DemocRats.
Ha. Finally someone gets the reference. Thanks
One of my favorite movies of all time!
You’ve brought a memory back for me. I guess it was more like a nightmare. Several years ago Cleveland lost electricity because of a fire on the electrical grid. Problem was that it lasted for around 4 days and the temps were around 94*. I was taking care of my 90 year old Mom plus trying to deal with my own health problem with a progressive lung issue. The point I’m making is, just what happens to the elderly or people with serious health issues if these “green idiots” destroy our fossil fuel industry? I think we all know the answer to that question. If this stuff continues I think it’s going to be a rough road ahead of us this Summer. It’s a tough one for me to even think about, but I’m sure I’m not alone. There’s so many other people in this country that will suffer because of these same issues. These “greenies” are only thinking of themselves and how they can make more money off the backs of everyday people. There’s nothing wrong with being responsible with the environment, but not when it’s at the cost of people’s lives!
6 Billion in Credit – like a loan.. While supporting the Deep State and their pockets with 40 BILLION cash outright?
So, what’s new?!? Biden and the administration “dithers” on just about everything, except stopping the Keystone pipeline and fossil fuels. With Biden doing what he’s doing, everyone in the U.S. needs to start learning how to go back to the “old days” of starting fires to cook your meals, get your horses and buggies ready, grow your own food, chop your own wood, hunt for your meat, etc. If I was Biden’s chef, I would slap that dead squirrel on his plate and say “here you go, buddy, you figure out what to do with it as we have no gas or electricity today”. Period.
It’s a 2-part plan:
1) If it benefits America – dither & lie.
2) If it hurts America – rush it through but keep on lying anyway.
Reopen Energy Grid Now