Power plants can fuel economy

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Recent announcements that the nation is in a recession, 500,000 jobs were lost in November and national unemployment was projected to reach 9 percent brought home to everyone that the nation is headed for tough economic times.

In many Georgia counties unemployment has already reached 9-12 percent with economic recovery projected to be a year or two away.

Three power plant projects already in the permitting stage can pump $10 billion into the state's economy and create over 1,100 permanent jobs and something like 3,000 temporary jobs while the plants are being built. These plants are the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, and coal-fired plants near Sandersville and in Early County in the southwestern corner of the state.

All of these employ advanced technologies to reduce emissions to much lower levels that existing plants built 25-35 years ago. These plants are needed to supply new power and replace aging coal and the 135 nuclear plants that are nearing the ends of their operational lives in the next 25 years.

These long-lived projects will pump needed money and jobs into parts of the state that were struggling even before the current economic downturn. These new power plants would prepare the state for a faster economic recovery without needing a taxpayer bailout that must someday be repaid.

Hovey Smith, Sandersville

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Rod Adams
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Rod Adams 12/13/08 - 03:52 am
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Hovey is right - new nuclear

Hovey is right - new nuclear power plants are just the kind of infrastructure investment that will provide both short and long term benefits and help the US to climb out of yet another oil driven recession. (Part of our current trouble is the 2-3 trillion that the US sent elsewhere during the 2004-2008 oil price bubble.)

I will gently correct one statement, however. The US currently operates 104 nuclear power plants and more than half of them have already had their initial 40 year operating licenses extended for another 20 years. Because those facilities have operating cost that are at least 20% lower than even coal plants using "cheap coal" they are huge money makers for their owners. Those owners are taking very good care of them. The US NRC is already making long term preparations for establishing the rules to allow additional extensions that might allow the plants to continue operating even longer.

Just like Rolls Royces, Hoover Dams, and famous buildings like the Empire State Building, there is no reason to believe that well cared for technology cannot last a very long time.

SCEagle Eye
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SCEagle Eye 12/13/08 - 11:19 am
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The Department of Energy

The Department of Energy estimates one nuclear plant as costing $9 billion. Given that it's much more efficient to the consumer to invest this money in energy efficiency than new generation, that's the direction we should head. Many more jobs are created by the green approach rather than bringing in a few construction workers from afar. SC & GA are at a cross-roads - create far more green jobs or a relatively small amount of construction jobs.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 12/13/08 - 01:41 pm
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Sorry, Mr. Smith, but your

Sorry, Mr. Smith, but your LTE presupposes the view that human beings like to do things that require electricity. Since that is a sin, and true virtue lies only in returning to the stage of human development at which we had no impact whatsoever on the environment, you are a sinner and not worth listening to. Then again, there has been no period in human history in which we had no impact on the environment. For that matter, the red crested maple wort has an impact on the environment. For THAT matter, the world's population of anchovies, alone, produces more excrement in a day than does the human population in a month, and I'm pretty sure the anchovy crap is not treated prior to entering the ocean, so EVERY species is sinful. Yep, the only virtuous course is to commit mass suicide and allow our bodies to decompose, thus returning to Nature that which we have stolen from Her. I'm going to go ahead and suggest that Pluto and the other virtuous, caring environmentalists begin that process...those of us who believe that nuclear and clean coal plants are better than 50-year-old dirty coal plants, we'll just tie up some loose ends and catch up with you later...

basinincrisis
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basinincrisis 12/17/08 - 12:46 pm
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The Savannah River basin is

The Savannah River basin is in crisis with this drought. It should not be assumed that the River can provide the extra water necessary to cool units 3 and 4, if they are approved. We need only look at the last 10 years (six in drought) to see the vulnerability of the River. Why isn't Southern Company using the Areva reactors that use 98% less water? In an era of global warming, protracted droughts and the obvious need to conserve water (especially in the Southeast, where we are facing "water wars"), we have to look long at hard at the Basin's capacity...now and 50 years from now, so that we don't destroy it. Water supply is as important, if not more so, than energy supply.

basinincrisis
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basinincrisis 12/17/08 - 01:08 pm
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We as a people need to learn

We as a people need to learn to conserve, first and foremost. We need to use less of everything. California has basically halted the energy curve by promoting (and demanding) it's citizens conserve. I daresay most of the power needed by units 3 and 4 would not really be "needed" by the grid until 2050 or beyond if the Southeast would drag itself up the conservation curve.

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