It's the Environment, Stupid.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NIMBY? Not a problem in Gaffney, SC

Most communities might shy away from talk of nuclear power in their own back yard. Not Gaffney, SC. According to the NY Times yesterday, residents there are all for it. The prospect for jobs and a potential economic boost is appealing to people in this former textile town - their only concern around the proposed nuclear facility seems to be increased traffic that may result during construction of a plant.

Recent legislation has made it easier and faster for new nuclear plants to be built and come online, and since they're seen as inevitable in the face of our carbon free energy future - why not Gaffney? We've got to put all these new plants somewhere. May as well build 'em in areas of least resistance. Of course it'd be a little more convenient if Gaffney were closer to Yucca Mountain, but since transport cross country of nuclear waste has been deemed safe it shouldn't be a problem. And who knows, with all these new nuclear facilities popping up, maybe communities will be lining up to get all the extra nuclear waste put in their backyards.

Again, as I've said before, I'm not against nuclear power (or the people in Gaffney who want it) - just nuclear waste, which unfortunately seems to be a negative externality of climate change mitigation.


  • Are you just trying to be funny, or do you really have no problem with nuclear power if the waste issue was "solved?"

    Nuclear power plants have serious environmental problems in the mining and processing of the fuel as well as regular operations.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16:47  

  • Hazel - I'm really not trying to be funny. I suppose I was trying to make a point while addressing the critiques in one (brief) fell swoop - which seems to have failed miserably.

    I have a serious problem with the nuclear waste factor - and I don't think burying it in a mountain is solution by any means, but it seems to be the only one anyone is supporting at the moment. Perhaps it is better than the alternative of just burying or storing it on-site.

    But what I find more disturbing is that the world seems to be gung-ho about building new plants without any talk whatsoever of nuclear waste. All nuclear proponents give assurances that it is safe and we need not worry - but if it's so safe, why is the only solution to bury it deep inside a mountain in the middle of a desert?

    I'd like to see the waste factor eliminated altogether - that is what would solve it for me. Perhaps by designing a nuclear facility that eliminates waste would also force the rethinking of the way it is processed as well.

    By Blogger Amy Marpman, at 17:11  

  • I hate to sound combative (so easy to do via internet) but there is no such things as enviro-friendly fission.

    Mining uranium alone is energy intensive and has all the "raping the earth" you get with normal mining. Plus the joy of radioactive tailings.

    Nuclear power is a piss poor idea (in my book) but even more reckless in an era with cheap wind power ready to install, if someone would just decide to pay for it. A new nuclear plant costs about $2 billion, conservatively. You can buy SO much wind for that. ANd we have farmers in the Midwest LINING UP (literally) to get it on thier land.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13:04  

  • No apoligies please for fostering a debate (aka being combative) :)

    Would love to get the nuclear proponent's comments on your commments to make it really exciting...

    By Blogger Amy Marpman, at 13:26  

  • Here's a recent post from World Changing about nuclear - and it's got a ton of comments...

    By Blogger Amy Marpman, at 17:08  

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