Nuclear becoming passé

January 18, 2014
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

The latest energy policy fad at the General Assembly [Merritt Viewpoint, Jan. 6] is small nuclear units (modular nuclear power). It was coal gasification until Duke Energy’s financial disaster at Edwardsport.

Nuclear power has been equally financially disastrous. Last year, Morningstar (a Wall Street firm) declared the “nuclear renaissance” in the West “dead.”

Despite this, the General Assembly is now embracing modular nuclear units. But, in order for Indiana to deploy modular units, ratepayers and taxpayers will have to assume enormous financial risk. Like Edwardsport, these units have not reached commercialization and their cost and reliability is unknown.

It’s amazing that Indiana policymakers are paying attention to nuclear given current power sector developments.

Electric generation is increasingly decentralized and based primarily on energy efficiency, wind and solar photovoltaics, customer-owned power, demand response, and energy storage investments. Indeed, David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy (an independent power company), questions whether we’ll need an electric grid at all in the future.

Moreover, unlike nuclear power, wind and solar photovoltaics by many estimates will soon not need subsidies.

Grant Smith
senior energy policy analyst, Civil Society Institute; legislative chairman, Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter


  • Reliability Unknown - Of Course
    Quote: "cost and reliability is unknown." Great. Fuku Proved Nuke Power is uncontrollable. No engineer or scientist has a clue hot to fix it. But hey, lets create modular units and sell them to the tax payer even though they don't want them. Sick

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!