Minnesota DFL - 3rd Congressional District

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Nuclear
High cost, dangers, high water use, trends in use, Type III and Types IV, storage of fuel rods, research.

Nuclear Safety Lax in both U.S. and Japan

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japanese plant explosion

 

Greg Palast, award winning investigative reporter for BBC, the Guardian, and the Observer, cautions that adequate safety precautions have not been observed and false test results have been reported by nuclear corporations in both Japan and the U.S.  Read his article, "Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants: The No BS Info on Japan's Disastrous Nuclear Operators." Bloomberg News points to decades of faked safety reports for Japanese nuclear plants:  Japan Nuclear Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents by Jason Clenfield - March 18, 2011.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:36
 

Power MN with Wind and Keep the Nuclear Moratorium

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wind_turbineNuclear power leaves waste that is radioactive for tens of thousands of years, uses a great deal of water, and is far more expensive than other energy sources.  Minnesota is very fortunate in being one of the states with a big abundance of wind energy, enough to produce 25 times the electricity it currently uses.  Wind turbines are very tall and catch the wind to produce electricity continuously, though at variable speeds.  

Variation in wind produced electricity can be balanced by turning off gas plants when wind produced electricity is high and turning on the gas when the wind is producing less electricity.  Neither coal nor nuclear plants can be coordinated with wind power because they cannot be quickly turned up and down like gas. 

Other methods for keeping electricity supply and use in balance include allowing air conditioning to be turned off like now for a rate reduction, and postponing optional electricity use, such as for washing clothes and dishes, to lower demand times.  In the future, methods of electricity storage such as batteries will also be used to feed electricity into the grid to balance supply and use.
As battery powered cars become more widely used, they will be an important resource for balancing the variability of wind power  by feeding electricity back into the grid when they are not in use for extended periods.

With both wind and gas available at lower cost and less risk than nuclear power, Minnesota does not need nuclear power. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:38
 

Wind Power or Nuclear Power?

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The New Energy Reform Act advocates allocating big subsidies to nuclear energy including government insurance for delayed starts for nuclear plants and guarantees for failed nuclear bonds.  Keep in mind that this is not a small commitment since half of the nuclear bonds issued in the past did fail.  Backing nuclear bonds could cost taxpayers $90 to $180 billion.  Barack Obama emphasizes renewable energy, but indicated he is willing to support nuclear plants if they can be proven to be safe and the radioactive waste can be stored safely.

This attention to nuclear plants contrasts with the campaign themes of Ashwin Madia and Al Franken who both emphasized building the green economy with renewable energy.  Perhaps this is not surprising given that Minnesota is third highest producer of wind energy and ties with Iowa in providing the highest percent of its electricity with wind power - 7 1/2 percent.  The 1,366 megawatts of electricity produced by wind is just the beginning.  Developers have requested 23,000 megawatts of wind energy projects, 17 times the current production, in the Buffalo Ridge area in SE Minnesota.  In comparison to nuclear energy, electricity produced from wind costs one third less to half as much, produces no toxic waste, does not use valuable water resources, and contributes to the economic growth of local communities where wind turbines are located.  For more information on the potential of wind to produce clean energy, and the cost of reducing CO2 using energy conservation and different energy sources, see
http://myaurora.org/aurorawiki/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=432
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:55