Will the Gulf Oil Spill Inspire a New Focus on Nuclear Energy in the US?

green and white leafed plantsWill the Gulf Oil Spill Inspire a New Focus on Nuclear Energy in the US?

On June 3rd, spurred by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama called on Congress to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil and pass a clean-energy bill that he said would help the nation end its dependence on fossil fuels. “I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can, and I will work with anyone to get this done,” the President said. “And we will get it done.”

Obama said the country’s continuing dependence on fossil fuels “will jeopardize our national security, it will smother our planet and will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk.” He outlined a set of goals that included improvements in energy efficiency and pursuing nuclear power.

In addition to the President, a growing number of environmentalists are urging a serious examination of nuclear power, which has an unparalleled safety record since the industry took action after the Three Mile Island incident.

As New York magazine recently reported, many leading greens have switched sides from no-nuke to pro-nuke: early Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore and former Greenpeace UK executive director Stephen Tindale; Gaia theorist James Lovelock; longtime Friends of the Earth board member Bishop Hugh Montefiore; and, most recently, environmental icon Stewart Brand, who founded the Whole Earth Catalog and helped inspire Earth Day.

“Our continuing thirst for oil is going to force companies like BP to go to greater lengths and depths to satisfy our demand. It’s obvious right now that they are operating at or beyond the limits of their technology. Going deeper and farther out will only increase risks that are rapidly approaching unacceptable levels,” says Amir Adnani, CEO of Corpus Christi, Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp.

He adds, “America’s energy policy is in need of significant revision for reasons including national security issues, balance of payment problems and environmental concerns. The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a reminder that we have to consider risks as well as what is convenient and cheap. Consequently, as oil production becomes riskier, other forms of energy generation grow relatively more attractive. The overall mix of energy sources has to change. The massive investments the Chinese are making in a nuclear future as part of the nearly 60 new nuclear plants under construction worldwide, as well as four nuclear reactors ordered by the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, suggest that coming change in the mix of energy choices favors nuclear power.”

If a critical groundswell of support for nuclear energy materializes, Uranium Energy is well-positioned to take advantage of the new demand. UEC aims to boost uranium production in the US using a method known as in-situ recovery (ISR), which avoids the expense and environmental disruption of traditional mining techniques.

The company expects to begin producing uranium by the fourth quarter of 2010, and is only one of four companies in the US with a fully licensed facility. “We could arguably become one of the largest—if not the largest—uranium producers in the United States,” Mr. Adnani notes. The company has undertaken a property acquisition program that is focused primarily in Texas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. This region has historically been the most concentrated area for uranium mining in the US.

No matter how events in the Gulf play out, coming months and years will reveal the extent to which nuclear power might serve as a safer alternative to the offshore drilling of oil as a way of satisfying our nation’s ever-growing energy needs.

Source: Uranium Energy Corp. For more information, log on to www.uraniumenergy.com

Photo by Duke Energy. CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Next Post

No more post

You May Also Like

Tinggalkan Balasan

Alamat email Anda tidak akan dipublikasikan. Ruas yang wajib ditandai *