Ameren’s Answer to Our Energy Needs
Being an environmentalist opposed to nuclear power is like being a vegetarian who is starving but still refuses meat. The solution to all your primary goals and needs is right in front of your face, but you still refuse to alter your mindset to see it. Let’s see here: Fewer carbon emissions? Check. Clearner burning energy? Check. Reduced use of fossil fuels? Check. Add in the benefits of more affordable energy and a decreased use of foreign energy sources, and I have never understood the opposition to nuclear power.
A short time ago I half-jokingly wrote about how the disaster movies of the 1970s helped fuel the safety-obsessed society we now live in. Smarter people than I have already constructed this equation: One overrated movie + one poorly timed, frightening, but ultimately minor accident + an enormous amount of activism from certain types opposed to nuclear power = a halt on expanded nuclear power in America + more dependence on the exact thing (oil) that environmentalists don’t like in the first place + higher energy costs for everyone.
What is the point of all this? AmerenUE wants to expand its nuclear plant in Cab Callaway County. The Fulton Sun has the story here, about a recent public hearing on the proposal. One of my neighbors showed up to oppose it:
Drey claimed that a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a terrorist attack would cause massive ecological and health problems for a very large area.
“Someone could get in with a plastic explosive through a metal detector and drop it into the plant and that would be the end of Callaway County and the rest of us,” she said.
Where to begin? First of all, the plant is already there (thankfully). It’s not like a terrorist is going to say, “Well, now they have two reactors instead of just one, so let’s target it. Why would we have wasted our time trying to detonate just one nuclear reactor? But now that there are two, it is worth our efforts!” The same goes for earthquakes, but I trust that the engineers who built it — and will build it — have, you know, considered that.
Everything has a cost and a risk. The extensive use of nuclear power has shown that it is safe — except, perhaps, when you let it be run by communists. Congressman Todd Akin (definitely not a communist, but an engineer) has proposed major revisions to American’s energy policy that include expanding the use the nuclear power:
“I have always been a supporter of nuclear energy,” Akin said. “The rewards are substantive as far as its low cost energy and its cleaner.” He noted that nuclear power becomes a more attractive energy source in the context of global warming.
I could not agree with him more.