Republican Energy Policy
Last week, with little fanfare, the US house Republicans divulged their energy policy and the central feature of that policy would be the construction of 100 nuclear power plants around the country. I have 3 questions about that plan; 1-How much does it cost to build a nuclear power station, 2-Where are we going to deposit and store the nuclear waste and 3-Where are we going to build these plants (not in my backyard)?
Lately, the Republicans have been screaming about all the spending going on in the country, even though they are responsible for 90% of it, and it seems odd to me that they would favor such an expensive proposition. We had a nuclear power station built on Long Island, NY, Shoreham, that was completed about 25 years ago and never put on line for political and safety reasons. The final cost came in at about 5 billion dollars and Long Islanders are still paying for the big white elephant. If a nuclear plant cost 5 billion dollars 25 years ago then what would it cost to build one today. Heck, I read somewhere that the final cost of the "big dig" came in at over 14 billion dollars. I can only imagine that 5 billion dollars 25 years ago can mean 15 billion dollars today, at least. Multiply that by 100 plants and you have a very large cost to consider.
What are we going to do with all of the nuclear waste from these plants? With emphasis on terrorism these days since 9/11, what will it cost to keep these new plants and any future depositories safe?
Finally can you imagine the battle it will be to find the sites and license 100 plants? The legal costs involved would be staggering.
Secondly, the Republican energy plan calls for more drilling for oil domestically, including Alaska. Has anybody told them that the USA only has about 3% of the world's oil reserves?
Lastly they call for more use of natural gas and solar and wind power, which I think should be at the top of the list. Solar and wind is free and renewable and there is no problem with fuel waste and carbon emissions.
The Republican energy plan is a real bummer, just like their budget that called for the elimination of Medicare for those under the age of 55 and drastically reduced Social Security benefits.