An Enriched Renaissance

By March 25, 2008Energy

From AP:

BOISE, Idaho — Companies are racing to provide radioactive fuel for America’s nuclear renaissance, and they’re powering debate along the way.

Even as the government continues to oppose Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium for power plants, projects to do just that are under way in this country. General Electric Co. and USEC Inc., along with European rivals Urenco Ltd. and Areva Inc., are pushing billions worth of new U.S. enrichment plants or technology so they don’t miss the new uranium boom.

Opponents including the Union of Concerned Scientists fear that sends the wrong message to countries like Iran. The group argues that it’s unclear that the U.S. really needs new facilities when it could just import nuclear fuel.

Two points:

  • What a false equivalence. The United States should not be enriching uranium for peaceful use because a totalitarian, terrorist-supporting enemy of our country may misinterpret the signals and want to do the same?
  • If you ever, EVER see the Union of Concerned Scientists arguing for policies based on “energy security” or “energy independence,” don’t believe them. The United States imports 85 percent of its enriched uranium for nuclear power generation, 40 percent from Russia under a program due to end in 2013. And this “concerned” environmentalist group apparently thinks that’s just fine.
  • The story focuses on developments in Idaho, with Areva playing a significant role in addressing U.S. energy needs through domestic production. Now that’s real energy security.

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