SocraticGadfly: Nuclear power and the muth of 'energy independence'

December 02, 2009

Nuclear power and the muth of 'energy independence'

Nuclear power plants will NOT give the US taht mythical "energy independence," mainly because the US already imports 83 percent of its uranium needs -- a far higher percentage than our 60 percent of oil that is imported.

True, 30 years ago, most our uranium was domestic, but after Three Mile Island tthen Chernobyl, nobody was building new plants, so US uranium mining imploded. (A lesser black eye, from which I have personal familiarity, was a leak from a tailings pond at a mine 20 miles east of where I grew up -- and in 1979, the year of Three Mile Island, no less.)

That said, as far as mythical energy independence?

Far beyond the 60 percent of oil needs we import, we also import:

1. 100 percent of bauxite/alumina;
2.100 percent of manganese;
3. 100 percent of rare earth metals;
4. 91 percent of platinum;
5. 88 percent of tin;
6. 85 percent of tantalum;
7. 76 percent of cobalt;
8. 72 percent of chromium;
9. 70 percent of magnesium;
>> 60 percent of oil;
10. 56 percent of silicon;
11. 54 percent of silver.

So, let's just knock off the "energy independence" bull.

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