In an editorial yesterday in the Ironton Tribune, Ohio Senator George Voinovich said clearly and strongly: Ohio must engage in the nuclear renaissance.
By talking about how the industry meets key concerns about jobs and the economy, Voinovich brought up the opportunities from the new Clean Energy Park Alliance announced for southern Ohio.
I was also excited to join Duke and AREVA to announce a large scale clean energy production center coming to Piketon, Ohio. This means thousands of jobs for Ohio, which will be part of the finest nuclear workforce in the world.
Voinovich also does the math to show just how many jobs are in the works, which is reflected by the boom in applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for new nuclear reactors.
“This means more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs will be created to supply the needed parts and components for the 30 nuclear reactors that are currently planned here in the United States.”
But Ohio isn’t the only state with energy concerns, and it certainly isn’t the only state that could use more jobs. Much of what Voinovich expressed is true for the rest of the U.S. – especially when the goal is dependable, reliable carbon-free energy.
Today, there is a huge energy gap between the renewable electricity we would like to have and the reliable, low-cost electricity we must have. Nuclear is the best power source we have available to meet our energy needs while also curing emissions of greenhouse gases.
Here in the US. Our 104 nuclear plants provide 20% of our electricity. That represents over 70 percents of the nation’s emission free generation portfolio. Meanwhile, only 1.4 percent of our emission free power comes from wind, and only .08 percent from solar.
Voinovich outlined why nuclear energy is going to be a large part of the future.
Everyone is starting to get it – nuclear is a three’fer: Without it, we will not be able to reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions; Without it , we will not be able to provide the base-load electricity our growing country will demand; And, without it, we will not be able to rebuild our manufacturing base.