U.S. approves first new nuclear power plant in a generation
There are plans to build the first new nuclear plant in 30 years in spite of safety concerns stemming from Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
My father was an engineer, and when I was a child, he told me the story of Prometheus, a famous Greek myth in which Zeus grows angry at Prometheus for giving humans the wisdom of fire, knowledge capable of bringing on disaster. As punishment, Zeus chains Prometheus to a rock, where an eagle pecks incessantly at his liver. Today, I cannot help but remember that story when I think about the development of nuclear technology, a modern-day incarnation of the wisdom of fire.
In college, I studied science and technology, and ever since, I have had a great admiration for the Pugwash conferences, a forum dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons (the group won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993). That is because nuclear weapons, which have the power to kill large numbers of people indiscriminately, are fundamentally at odds with the purpose of science, which is to contribute to people’s well-being. To put it another way: Nuclear weapons contradict the very nature of humanity. In fact, this concern was the major reason why I aspired to be a political leader.
America has 104 nuclear power plants at 65 sites. The nation is divided into 4 nuclear regions. The first has 25 plants, second has 35 plants, third has 24, and the fourth has 20. All these plants only produce about 20% of the electricity for America. The youngest is 16 years while the oldest is 43 years old.
The data is from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission website.
Spaces of energy :: Luca Zanier
Nuclear power plant, control room, Switzerland