Jay Inslee (D, WA-1) has had a fine line to walk on nuclear power. Jay Inslee’s big (only?) issue is clean energy. Nuclear energy is the cleanest large-scale energy source in the world. Yet Inslee has a strong ideological opposition to nuclear. Inslee just can’t put the science ahead of his ideology.
Some pertinent trivia on nuclear power:
– Nuclear energy can scale to large demands: France is 80% nuclear power. In comparison, wind and solar in the US is under 5%, and rare to get to 20% in other countries.
– Nuclear energy has lower end-to-end carbon emissions than wind, biomass, hydro, solar, natural gas, oil or coal .
For further reading on nuclear, check out the Seattle Times’ column from Mike Lawrence.
From an Inslee townhall (?) on May 10, 2009, when asked about increasing Nuclear power, Inslee showed several signs of hypocrisy
1. Inslee says government regulation is not the primary inhibitor for nuclear power. Yet other countries with friendly nuclear regulations are having great success with nuclear power. US regulations have prevented a new nuclear plant from being constructed in over 30 years. And meanwhile, France is 80% nuclear. India is building 15 new nuclear plants .
2. Inslee says nuclear is too expensive, and proposes we use wind and solar instead. Yet nuclear is over 10x cheaper than wind or solar.
One Nuclear plant is certainly more expensive than one windmill, but nuclear plants generate a tremendous amount of power. Nuclear power plants generate roughly 20% of the US electricity, yet only 1% of the plants are nuclear. Nuclear power is also a very well understood technology, whereas efficient large-scale wind and solar power is still under active research.
3. Inslee has said global warming is a large-scale imminent threat, yet refuses to embrace the available technologies to address it for fear of what will happen 10,000 years later.
Inslee has said “Global warming is not something we can wait 10 years to deal with.” And while nuclear power could provide an immediate relief to carbon emissions, Inslee resists nuclear because of concerns of storing the waste 10,000 years from now. If Inslee really believed global warming was imminent, he would have embraced the available technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
My point here is not necessarily to champion nuclear power. Rather, Jay Inslee is showing hypocrisy here.
One more reason to support James Watkins (http://watkinsforcongress.com/ ) and send Jay Inslee home.
The original audio of Inslee is at http://principlesinliberty.blogspot.com/2009/05/principles-in-liberty-38-visit-with-jay.html. Here’s that blogger’s summary of the audio:
02:20:20 Audience: What about Nuclear Power?
02:21:16 Jay: Nuclear power has not blossomed in the last 25 years. But it is not because of Jane Fonda or Congress – it just costs too much money. Other methods are just easier with efficiency measures.
02:22:27 Jay: Congress in the last 20 years has tried to enhance nuclear power – we provided $ for research and free insurance to promote it. It is a potential part of our future – if the price comes down dramatically. Smaller plants that are more customized. We need standardized plants to bring down costs. We need a permanent disposal system.
02:24:29 Audience: If France is doing it why can’t we?
02:24:43 Jay: France doesn’t have a 10000 year solution for disposal.
 National Geographic, Vol 2009, No 4, pg 62)