Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is nuclear energy renewable?

A bill in the Arizona House would redefine renewable energy to include nuclear power. HB2623, introduced by Rep. Lucy Mason, chair of the House Water and Energy Committee, would also give the Legislature exclusive power to establish statewide renewable energy policy, an authority of the Arizona Corporation Commission at present.

ACC commissioner Paul Newman published an op-ed in today's Arizona Daily Star in opposition to bill, arguing that Arizona should not be the first state in the nation to declare nuclear is renewable. [right, Palo Verder Nuclear Generating Station, west of Phoenix. Credit, Nuclear Regulatory Commission]


  1. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Solar energy in Arizona is an idea whose time arrived over a decade ago on purely economic considerations. Solar’s time arrived long before on ethical considerations. For many long years, the ACC has performed as an effective element of the Arizona kabuki theater that acts to delay the adoption of solar energy. Now that the role might even slightly change towards something more authentic, the theater managers are becoming desperate to maintain the illusion.

    Nuclear energy is founded on the extraction and depletion of finite and rapidly diminishing resources. In fact, our society subsidizes both this depletion and the risks inherent in nuclear energy. Even without subsidies, solar energy is a low-cost, low-risk, high-return investment. Nuclear energy asks us to make decisions about the possible poisoning of people for many thousands of years.

  2. Anonymous12:16 PM

    That comment is ridiculous. Solar energy just does not produce enough energy. It produces a tiny amount of electricity compared to what nuclear can.
    Also, there really is little risk from using nuclear because of the technology being used to prevent this. It's not like power stations just ignore the nuclear waste.

  3. Anonymous12:57 AM

    The 'renewable' argument was made by Bernard Cohen in 1983. It involves extracting uranium from seawater for use in breeder reactors, which he argues could provide twice the worlds present energy consumption for as long as the sun can support life on earth, thus making it on par with solar renewables like wind, biomass, hydro, solar, etc. Of course, geothermal already is the result of the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium within the earth.