Finally after decades of trying to shut down the Indian Point reactors they will at last be shut down. We just have to hope a disaster doesn't occur before the shutdown. Environmentalists have been fighting against hydro power from Quebec for decades as well so that doesn't not seem like a good solution. Wind and solar should be used to replace the nuclear power if that is feasible. Natural gas should only be seen as a last resort.
Someday some state's politician is going to wake up and say, "We know which technologies we need and don't have. What happens if we ask our state's engineering college to work on these specific technologies? Denmark worked on offshore wind power and gained fantastic wealth. California subsidized Stanford and got Silicon Valley. Massachusetts subsidized their own state school, MIT, and got near-zero unemployment in Cambridge. Why should our state be stupid as turnips for one more year?"
Then the guy with the bribes will come around and the politician will say, "Oh silly me."
While hydro from Quebec is a good source, at least some of the nuclear plant generation will have to be replaced with natural gas because of the intermittancy issues with wind and solar.
A better solution from a CO2 emissions standpoint is to replace this plant with a new, far safer Gen III nuclear plant like the AP1000.
About half of the electricity in that area comes from natural gas now. I don't see why the nuclear could not be all replaced with wind or solar if enough could be built. I think nuclear of any kind would be politically impossible in that area. As it is there is will be concern about all the nuclear waste that is now stored on site at Indian Point.
Beware of Cuomo's deals! His ambitions for the presidency are driving the several recent progressive "sounding" actions, but his credentials are all centrist DINO sellout! His record of betrayals is very long and infuriating! Big-money is the name of his game and he will only respond to an issue when the people demand such in overwhelming numbers!
Every "deal" or announcement must all be read with a fine-tooth comb - all the fine-print and the quid pro quo he gives up - his ambitions require massive campaign contribution bribes and he seems to be gearing-up to secure those as well as burnish his non-existent "progressive" credentials.
How can you claim he is not a progressive? He banned fracking in tNYS. He has helped make NYS one of the two leading states in the country in the fight against climate change. He recently came out with a plan for free tuition at all NYS colleges and universities. These are real progressive actions. Rejecting progressives as being real progressives because they don't meet some purist ideal will only weaken the left which really needs to stick together rather than spitting over petty arguments. Take a look at what is going on the right side of the political spectrum. Doesn't it scare you?
May your state is trying to emulate the federal government. Not really but when there are a bunch of stupid turnips in Congress and the Presidency setting an example for the rest of the country, what can you expect?
What exactly does that mean, "only be seen as a last resort?" What is a last resort, especially in the context of protecting water and climate chaos.
I would say it means that the grid cannot supply enough electricity to avoid blackouts. The country cannot function if the New York City area does not have enough electricity. That is what last resort means.
Nuclear energy is an oddity to me. My understanding is that we only use about 4% of the rods. This has been my reasoning to be against nuclear power. It is wasteful, and in turn creates a considable amount of waste that is radioactive making it the most toxic to humans. Its so dangerous to move it that the gov't has to either lie about moving it, or keep completely silent to avoid possible poor decisions that activists may commit to. The second issue is repairing a facility is apperently difficult which can lead to meltdown or toxifying the water supply. I've never heard an argument from politicians that address these issues, but maybe they have. The only thing I've heard most about it is that its safe, which I don't believe one bit. As for shutting them down, its not like you can build housing or schools on that spot for decades or even hundreds of years depending. Chernobyl is still a ghost land and will be for who knows how long. The vids I've seen of scientists studying Chernobyl show many genetic issues with plants and wild life, though fascinating to see, are also quite disturbing. So, why we rely on this form of energy will always confuse me. Advances in solar panels alone has made it completely viable for most houses to have them installed as well as modern batteries for storage. I guess when money is worth less than energy will be the time that this all changes.
Natural gas... should pass... not viable
We only have to worry about helping out the renewables... IF .... we still want to have really stupid unnecessary activities and products... like professional sports and stupid plastic stuff.... make up ... and well... think about it... if we stick to complete necessities... we would be able to provide plenty of electricity ... with renewables... and ... instead of building renewable equipment ... which still impinges on habitat for many many other species besides our own.... we might be able to build..... "JUST ENOUGH"... to provide us all with running water... a few lights for reading(education).... health care... .AND BE HAPPY.... not for casinos... stadiums... ski resorts... gulf courses(country clubs).... I think you get my drift...
So, NYC doesn't need electricity for neon galore... and many many other "things".... It could get a basic load... and be happy...
That is a good point but NYC is probably the greenest city in the United States on a per capita basis. Try comparing it to cities like Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and many others. It is hard to ask the greenest city to cut back on part of what makes it New York without everyone doing the same. To fight climate change a good thing to do is copy New York City. Great mass transit and very compact development.
nuclear was originally sold by GE as a way to generate "practically free!" electricity. Of course, they lied. But that lie made it very effective to persuade a post-war public that just witnessed the end of the Japanese empire through nuclear weapons turn around and embrace the so-called peaceful use of that energy at home.
Well, GE was telling the truth about nuclear power being relatively cheap. For them.
Not so much for the consumer.
So to answer your question about why this form of power is attractive, it's this: nuclear power is a super-high profit form of energy exploitation. No constant drilling and exploration. No pollution control devices. Their only real expense is waste management and storage, an expense largely externalized to the feds.
That there are still leftist advocates for nuclear power in a capitalist society is beyond astonishing to me. I wouldn't support it in a socialist one, personally, unless it was truly the only alternative AND there was complete confidence in risk and waste management procedures.
What a great idea.
Let's just trust the same people and companies who promised us the exact same lies about the safety of the GE Mark One which exploded about five times on four units at Fukushima, not to mention, showering about two million people with radiation at Three Mile Island.
Now the whole Pacific Ocean is dying, and the radiation is congregated on the West Coast.
The AP1000 is still a dangerous Corvair with new paint, since it has no off switch! You will not escape a seven percent thermal heat rise when you shut it off, and unless perfect cooling happens, all the time, disaster will result.
All nuclear power is insane. All the plants leak according to constantly raised permissible leakage levels established by the NRC (a captured government body of know nothings.)
Click here to see the danger we are in:
Nuclear power is always the worst alternative because the high-level radioactive waste of the power plants includes some of the most toxic substances known. The waste lasts for thousands of years and about 12,000 tons are produced by power plants each year.
"Nuclear energy is an oddity to me. My understanding is that we only use about 4% of the rods."
Generally, around 3% of the actual fuel mass is fissioned by the time it becomes "spent" fuel. Roughly 1% winds up as unburned plutonium and heavier actinides, and around 96% is unburned uranium--most of which is U-238, which does not burn efficiently in most of today's reactors.
"This has been my reasoning to be against nuclear power."
Such poor fuel efficiency is not an inherent or necessary attribute of nuclear power. Some kinds should be able to attain very high burnup rates.
"It is wasteful, and in turn creates a considable amount of waste that is radioactive"
A 'considerable amount' is still pretty tiny. All the spent fuel produced over the entire life of a nuclear plant could fit into one of the smaller buildings on the complex.
"making it the most toxic to humans."
We routinely deal with many kinds of substances which would be almost instantly lethal to humans with the wrong kind of exposure to them. Actual danger takes into account how well it is managed. A lump of coal is not especially toxic to handle, but enormous volumes of uncontained wastes from coal sicken, damage, and/or kill many thousands per year. Spent fuel is far more intensely toxic than a similar mass of coal, but spent fuel containment and handling has an overall safety track record which is phenomenal--far better than in almost any comparable heavy industry. More efficient reactors would produce fission products which are far more intensely radioactive by weight than current-day spent fuel, but in many ways it would also be easier to handle (much smaller volume, much shorter half lives). So more toxic does not always mean more dangerous.
"Its so dangerous to move it that the gov't has to either lie about moving it, or keep completely silent to avoid possible poor decisions that activists may commit to."
That would appear to be a sensible recognition of the dangers of terrorists (or activists).
"The second issue is repairing a facility is apperently difficult which can lead to meltdown or toxifying the water supply."
Or rendering the plant inoperable. Or simply being too expensive to be justifiable. This is a chronic problem afflicting older reactor designs.
"I've never heard an argument from politicians that address these issues,"
That's because these are engineering problems, not political problems.
"The only thing I've heard most about it is that its safe, which I don't believe one bit."
It is currently "safe" in much the same way air travel is "safe", despite some spectacular disasters. It means it has a generally good track record compared to the leading alternatives. But we know of ways to drastically reduce or completely eliminate virtually every danger posed by current reactor designs, so while a good track record is nice, there is still lots of room for improvement.
"As for shutting them down, its not like you can build housing or schools on that spot for decades or even hundreds of years depending."
Nuclear power plants are usually built away from population centers. If you look at the sites of Yankee Rowe, Connecticut Yankee and Trojan nuclear plants today, you'll see land being reclaimed by vegetation, looking increasingly like the surrounding land. I don't see it as especially tragic if they wind up covered by trees instead of strip malls and parking garages.
"Chernobyl is still a ghost land"
Most of the humans have left the exclusion zone. Large hydro projects can displace large amounts of people too, and that's with everything working according to plan. Chernobyl was indeed a very bad way to do nuclear power, but other forms of nuclear could avoid all of its problems.
"and will be for who knows how long."
For the sake of the wildlife now thriving there, I'm hoping indefinitely.
"The vids I've seen of scientists studying Chernobyl show many genetic issues with plants and wild life,"
The overall ecosystem appears to be more healthy and diverse than when humans inhabited and worked the region.
"though fascinating to see, are also quite disturbing."
From what I've heard, they've found no lasting detrimental radiation effect on wildlife in the exclusion zone which can compare to the devastating effect humans had.
"So, why we rely on this form of energy will always confuse me."
What might be confusing to future generations is why we persisted for so long in using clunky, early forms of nuclear power when we knew how all the major problems with it could be minimized or eliminated.
"Advances in solar panels alone has made it completely viable for most houses to have them installed as well as modern batteries for storage."
Viable and practical only sometimes overlap. Very few people in New York state are meeting their energy needs using just solar and batteries, especially this time of year.
"I guess when money is worth less than energy will be the time that this all changes."
The advantage goes to the cheapest dependable form of energy. Solar has dependability issues and present tech nuclear has cost issues. So for now, natural gas is the leading contender for replacing the energy from Indian Point.
So, was the cost of developing, building and operating the plant paid for during its operational life or was it subsidized by taxpayers the whole time? Those plants cost so much money that I don't see how they pay for themselves.