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Showing posts from August, 2016

How Nuclear Energy Can Help Count the Cost of Carbon

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

A Federal appeals court recently ruled against companies that make commercial refrigerators in a case involving energy efficiency standards. What does this have to do with nuclear power? Potentially, a lot.

The Federal government’s goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which the Intergovernmental Climate on Climate Change and the Environmental Protection Agency have found are destabilizing the climate. But the United States does not have a tax on carbon, or even an overall limit on emissions. This gap in regulations is one reason that nuclear power plants usually do not get credit for the fact that their production is carbon-free.

But the government does have an emerging tool, called the "Social Cost of Carbon." That cost, determined jointly by several federal agencies, puts a dollar number on the damage caused by …

Giving Back to the Community With Nuclear Energy

I started my career at Entergy’s Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Southwest Michigan 11 years ago as a security officer. After seven years, I moved on to become a supervisor of Document Control and Records Management. Now, I’m a senior emergency planner, thanks to the encouragement of my nuclear mentor, Otto Gustafson.

In emergency planning, I’m proud to be on the front lines to ensure the safety of my plant and community. I help organize and facilitate our emergency response organization. I enjoy my job because it allows me to help Palisades be prepared for emergency situations. I know that my coworkers have the knowledge and procedures to secure the plant and keep the community safe, in the case of an emergency. My position challenges me in ways I never dreamed of prior to joining emergency planning and I learn new things every day.

My vision for the future of nuclear is continuing to provide clean energy to my community and state. Nuclear offers great benefits to my community, not…

A Nuclear Family Ensuring Our Clean Energy Future

When Marian Kellett first moved to Tri-Cities, Wash. while in her 20s, she wasn’t too sure about nuclear energy.

“I was so negatively biased toward nuclear power growing up. Our landlord, a Ph.D. at Battelle Northwest, was a good guy who was clearly smart,” Kellett said. “The fact that he chose to raise a family here challenged every (negative) preconception I had about nuclear energy.”

She came to realize that people who were a lot more knowledgeable than she was on the subject were quite comfortable with nuclear energy.
“It was a clarifying moment, and I started to learn more about nuclear instead of just giving in to what I knew from movies and the press.”

Good thing for Marian. That change in perspective led to a nearly 26 year career at Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, located 10 miles north of Richland, Wash. She started as a temporary clerk seeking a stable working environment and an opportunity to advance if she worked hard. She certainly did that and now is as…

5 Facts About Electricity and Summer Heat (Bumped)

The past two weeks have seen record temperatures grip the nation as a "heat dome" has descended over most of the continental U.S. While it isn't news that summer is hot, it is when the temperatures are 15-20 degrees higher than average for this time of year.

But life must go on and the electricity must flow. Without the sort of reliable baseload power that nuclear energy provides, our electric grid would be in a tight spot, as grid operators would be forced to juggle intermittent source of energy (like wind and solar) with others that could be vulnerable to supply constraints (like natural gas). In California, the independent system operator recently asked consumers to conserve electricity in the face of high temperatures during a period where the supply of natural gas is constrained due to the Aliso Canyon methane leak.

Put it all together and you could be looking at grid reliability being compromised, prices skyrocketing and electric utilities being forced to use dirt…