Aug 3, 2008

McCain to visit site of near catastrophic meltdown to push for more nuclear power plants

In honor of Republican Presidential candidate Grampy McSame visiting my hometown of Monroe on Tuesday, I am re-reading a book I read several years ago called “We almost Lost Detroit,” by John G. Fuller.

Grampy will be visiting the Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township on the shores of Lake Erie on Tuesday to push for more nuclear power plants. Mr. Fuller’s book is a review of nuclear power in general, but it is also the story of the accident that occurred in Monroe on the afternoon of Oct. 5, 1966. As you may recall, a zirconium plate at the bottom of the reactor vessel became loose and blocked sodium coolant flow to some fuel subassemblies. Two subassemblies started to melt almost causing a catastrophic meltdown. At the time, I was just 8-years-old and I lived just a few short miles from the plant down Dixie Highway in a subdivision near Sterling State Park.

The book was published in 1975, and I read it shortly after that. I just found a copy of the book, at the Book Burrow at the Downtown branch of the Lansing Library. I remember when I first read the book it was a little insulting that it was overlooked that if Detroit would have been lost so would have Monroe.

But it seems ironic that he is visiting a plant that had a near catastrophic accident to promote nuclear energy as safe. The fact is nuclear energy has come a long way since 1966, and the reactor where the accident occurred has been decommissioned. But some danger remains. Perhaps a visit to Three Mile Island might be more fitting.

Sen. Barack Obama also supports nuclear energy, but he also says before, like many people, we expand nuclear energy, we need to address the problem of nuclear waste. That’s an issue no one has found an answer for.

Spent fuel from nuclear power plants is toxic for centuries, and, as yet, there is no safe, permanent storage facility for it. A large nuclear reactor produces 25–30 tons of spent fuel each year, according to the Uranium and Nuclear Power Information Centre. As of 2007, the United States had accumulated more than 50,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors. The only solution that has been floated thus far is permanent underground storage at Yucca Mountain.

The fact is renewable energy is the best way to go, but the Bush Administration fought that at every turn.

The high gas prices led to the U.S. House Republicans pulling a juvenile stunt on Friday, and they basically commandeered the House floor after it adjourned and preached propaganda to themselves.

Apparently, Exxon is not content with making $1,500 a second - yes, I said a second - and they want to open up the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to drilling and lift the ban on offshore drilling. For some reason, the thousands of leases on millions of acres of U.S. land they hold is not enough, and they are using this to get at more to increase profits.

Both oil companies and the Grand Oil Party must know this will have no effect on gas prices. According to the U,S, Energy Department, it would take 10 years before any oil is pumped out of new offshore wells, and about 20 years before those wells would reach peak capacity. There could be no oil production in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge until 2018 and production would not peak until 2027.

As for offshore drilling, there is simply too little oil in these offshore areas to affect global supply. Bush’s own DOE shows that by the year 2025, ANWR drilling would lower crude oil prices by only 75 cents per barrel, which equates to about to about 2 cents a gallon at the pump.


Brett said...

The writer of this blog is quite wrong in nearly everything stated about drilling for oil.

First of all, it's odd that he'd start using anything from the Bush administration for his reasoning since he has repeatedly told everyone how wrong and incompetent the Bush administration is.

Second, in 1996, former President Bill Clinton vetoed the drilling of ANWAR. Gas prices started rising following Hurricane Katrina in September 2005. They really burst up since 2006 (oddly enough, not long after the Democrats took over the House and Senate). That's ten years after Clinton vetoed ANWAR. By the way, on Oct 20, 2006 oil prices were at $56.82 a barrel. Now it's around $123.00 after hitting a high in the $140's three weeks ago.

At the time, it would have taken ten years, according to the experts, for that oil to do any good. Imagine that. 1996, they claimed that it would take ten years so they didn't do it. But then ten years later, we needed that oil to offset increases in the price of oil.

As we've already seen, President Bush, in a major press conference, called on the liberals to end their ban on off shore drilling. Oil came down $9.00 that day.

Even telling the world that we're going to drill off shore, in the great lakes, in ANWAR, and in the west, would drive prices down abit.

Canadians are already drilling in the Great Lakes (we get most of our oil from Canada).

The Chinese have the rights to start drilling off Cuba, near our country, for oil. China will be taking oil that we could get and naturally, they'll take the profits, or worse use it against us (does our national security mean anything to liberals?).

Lastly, the stunt was perpetrated by the Democrats. They turned off the lights, turned off the mikes, and chased C-Span out by doing so. The Republicans got the lights and mic's back on only to have the Democrats shut them off again.

When the Republicans still didn't leave the House floor, the Democrats called the Capital Police to remove the press from the gallery. So the Republicans sent Representatives up to do interviews with the press, which stopped the Capital Police from removing the press.

People were cheering the Republicans for what they were doing and all of this was due to Nancy Pelosi who refused to allow debate on the House Floor about oil drilling.

73% of the people in this country support oil drilling. Yet the Democrats, led by Speak too much Pelosi refuses to allow debate. What is she afraid of?

Thank you liberals and thank you Pelosi. Your stunt of trying to take away free speech from the Republicans just may bring the Republicans chances of actually winning something in Congress this year, back from the dead.


Communications guru said...

Well, it was the U.S. Department of Energy. We know Bush in the past has tried to silence negative reports and he has politicized just about ever federal agency, but the reason for pointing out it came from the Bush administration is because you kill every single messenger. Perhaps coming from Republicans you might give it some credence.

Gas prices are going up because of Democrats? That’s just ridiculous. There are many factors contributing to the high prices. One is the increasing demand. Demand from China since 2000 has skyrocketed. That may be the reason we have lost more than 3 million manufacturing jobs under Bush. Production in China, hence demand, has just exploded during the last eight years. We also had two oilmen in the White House, and at least one is benefiting from the record profits oil companies are receiving. Bush has had eight years to get a decent energy policy through, and for six of those years he controled both Houses of Congress. What we got is secret meetings where Cheney still refuses to even let the public know who attended. We can be sure his oil company cronies were at the table.

I don’t understand the race to drill in environmental sensitive area when oil companies already have some 10,000 leases on millions of acres already with oil that they are not drilling. If they get the go ahead to do this, most likely they will just sit on those leases too to keep supply low and drive up the price.

I’m sure oil did come $9 a barrel, but that just proves the argument that unchecked, runaway speculation is driving up the price of oil. The fact that Americans are driving less may also have contributed slightly.

I don’t believe anyone is drilling for oil in the Great Lakes. I could be wrong, but I don’t thin so. The China claim is simply not true. According to Fact Check, “Cuba has leased exploration blocks to foreign companies for areas as close as 60 miles off Florida's southern coast. A 2006 New York Times article said China was one of the countries that had negotiated an offshore lease. But experts quoted recently by The Associated Press say none of the companies involved are Chinese and all are only allowed to explore for now, not drill in the region.”

Sorry, the publicity stunt was perpetrated by the Republicans. The House was adjourned, session was over. The fact that the Republicans played to an empty chamber means nothing. They can debate all they want, but the real work, like in every legislature, is done behind the scenes and in committee. I don’t know who was cheering the Republicans; maybe Grand Oil Party staffers.

I don’t see any instances of anyone taking away the right of free speech from House Republicans.

Brett said...

Of course you don't see free speech taken from the Republicans. You wouldn't see it if Pelosi gagged and bound every Republican on every television.

As for all of the leases, they have explored the possibility of oil in those areas and see the prospect of oil in those areas as unlikely, as they testified before both committees (House and Senate).

My family used to own the property from Plymouth Rd and Farmington down to Schoolcraft up to Merriman Rd, back to Plymouth Rd and down to the start again. Imagine if that property was still owned by my family. I offer you a lease to farm that land. You have no hope of doing so because that entire piece of property is now filled with businesses. That farming lease to you would be worthless. That's similar to what the oil companies have on those 68 million acres.

If you re-read what I said, you'll see that I said China has been given rights by Cuba. All you did was confirm it.


Communications guru said...

No one was censored. What she did was adjourned the session. That is certainly not out of the ordinary. Republicans were free to speak all they wanted. They could stand on the steps of the Capitol or anywhere else they chose and speak all they wanted. In no way was their right of free speech infringed upon in any way.

Again, they have more than 10,000 leases on millions of acres. Why pay a lease on property that has no oil? All I have is your word on the leases. The story about your family is completely irrelevant, and it has absolutely nothing to do with this debate nor is it even applicable.

No, China has not been given anything. Cuba has granted six foreign companies the right to explore for oil, not to drill for it.