Ken Nahigian, former Chief Counsel of the Senate Energy Committee, comments on the failure to fund the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility:
Nuclear power constitutes 20 percent of the electricity used in the United States. That’s right, one fifth of all electricity consumed. In order to keep pace with the growing demand for electricity in the United States we must continue to expand our energy generation, not shrink it. While the benefits of renewable energy are many, the reality is solar and wind power constitute two percent of all domestic energy production, and to increase it to even eight percent will require massive transmission improvements. All the while the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plan to stand by and let 40 of the current 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. potentially become decommissioned over the next 30 years. That’s a potential decrease in electrical power generation of eight percent.
Nuclear-waste management remains an issue at the forefront of the nuclear expansion debate. There is significant debate as to the responsibility of the Government in the management and storing of nuclear waste. The Federal government has proposed a single deep geological storage reserve for spent fuel in Nevada at Yucca Mountain as a substitute to the national security threat posed by storage onsite at nuclear facilities.
But bottom line, the involvement of Nevada equals Harry Reid equals no Yucca Mountain storage equals no new plants for the next two decades equals dozens of plants will be decommissioned equals an eight percent reduction in clean and safe energy equals another loss for the country. And why? Because of the environmental special interest. The same type of special interests that the President pledged to transcend.