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As Biden Dithers on Nuclear Power, Vast Swaths of Country Could Face Blackouts

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Luke Allen

Nuclear
President Joe Biden holds an energy meeting with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and members of his national security team.

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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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Reopen Energy Grid Now

Barb
Barb
1 year ago

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.

Bonni
Bonni
1 year ago

6 Billion in Credit – like a loan.. While supporting the Deep State and their pockets with 40 BILLION cash outright?

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

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.

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
1 year ago

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.

Art
Art
1 year ago

OH BOY! WAIT UNTIL THERE ARE LINES WAITING TO CHARGE ELECTRIC VEHICLES. LOL. KMA! STOP THIS KAMIKAZE CRAP. DESTRUCTIVE INCOMPETENCE IS ALIVE AND WELL.

Patrick J Scott
Patrick J Scott
1 year ago

There was a recent article that the russian gov has been funding the greens to put us into this position, ie, increase their income.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
1 year ago

Someone should tell the econologists they cannot have their cake and take yours too.

JEFFREY JONES
JEFFREY JONES
1 year ago

SAVE THE U.S.A. arrest and exterminate all demonrats,libturds, commies, and nazis!!!…It’s time for another civil war!!!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

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.

tika
tika
1 year ago

biden isn’t productive enough for him to be considered dithering

MariaRose
MariaRose
1 year ago

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.

K
K
1 year ago

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!!!

Stephan
Stephan
1 year ago

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.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

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?

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