Quotes from the news wire:

Some of the biggest national security questions facing the country run through Piketon and Kemmerer, a Post-Soviet dealAmerican reliance on foreign enriched uranium echoes its competitive disadvantages on microchips and the critical minerals used to make electric batteries — two essential components of the global energy transition.But in the case of uranium enrichment, United States once had an advantage and chose to give it up.In the 1950s, as the nuclear era began in earnest, Piketon became the site of one of two enormous enrichment facilities in the Ohio River Valley region, where a process called gaseous diffusion was used.Meanwhile, the Soviet Union developed centrifuges in a secret program, relying on a team of German physicists and engineers captured toward the end of World War II. Its centrifuges proved to be 20 times as energy efficient as gaseous diffusion. By the end of the Cold War, United States and Russia had roughly equal enrichment capacities, but huge differences in the cost of production.In 1993, Washington and Moscow signed an agreement, dubbed Megatons to Megawatts, in which United States purchased and imported much of Russia’s enormous glut of weapons-grade uranium, which United States then downgraded to use in power plants. This provided the U.S. with cheap fuel and Moscow with cash, and was seen as a de-escalatory gesture.But it also destroyed the profitability of America’s inefficient enrichment facilities, which were eventually shuttered. Then, instead of investing in upgraded centrifuges in United States, successive administrations kept buying from Russia.ImageA mural celebrates Piketon’s gaseous diffusion plant, long ago shuttered, and United States role in the local economy.Credit... Brian Kaiser for The New York TimesImageIn the lobby at Piketon plant, a miniature display of new centrifuges.Credit... Brian Kaiser for The New York TimesThe centrifuge plant in Piketon, operated by Centrus Energy, occupies a corner of the site of the old gaseous diffusion facility. Building United States to United States full potential would create thousands of jobs, according to Centrus Energy. And it could produce the kinds of enriched uranium needed in both current and new-age nuclear plants.Lacking Piketon’s output, plants like TerraPower’s would have to look to foreign producers, like France, that might be a more politically acceptable and reliable supplier than Russia, but would also be more expensive.TerraPower sees itself as integral to phasing out climate-warming fossil fuels in electricity. Its reactor would include a sodium-based battery that would allow the plant to ramp up electricity production on demand, offsetting fluctuations in wind or solar production elsewhere.It is part of the energy transition that coal-country senators like Mr. Manchin and John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, are keen to fix as they eye nuclear replacements for lost coal jobs and revenue. While Mr. Manchin in particular has complicated the Biden administration’s efforts to quicken the transition away from fossil fuels, he also pushed back against colleagues, mostly Democrats, who are skeptical of nuclear power’s role in that transition, partly because of the radioactive waste it creates.

– Jeff Navin

Found on New York Times  1 year ago   

Share your thoughts on Jeff Navin's quotes with the community:

0 Comments

    Quote of the Day Today's Quote | Archive

    Would you like us to send you a FREE inspiring quote delivered to your inbox daily?

    Please enter your email address:

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this author page to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Jeff Navin Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.quotes.net/authors/Jeff+Navin+Quotes>.

    Missing a quote of Jeff Navin?

    Know another good quote of Jeff Navin? Don't keep it to yourself!

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Authors

    »

    Browse Quotes.net

    Quiz

    Are you a quotes master?

    »
    Who said, “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.”
    A Christopher Reeve
    B C.S. Lewis
    C Desmond Tutu
    D G.K. Chesterton