Nuclear Power's Emission Reduction Potential in Utah
One such policy option was the possibility of building the State’s first commercial nuclear power plant. Four separate categories encompassing Utah’s history with nuclear and general U.S. nuclear capabilities were researched before a recommendation was made. First were the political issues including Utah citizens’ past experiences with nuclear bomb fallout, the near avoidance of storing nuclear waste on an in-state Indian reservation, the development of a permanent nuclear waste storage in Nevada and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s permitting and licensing scheme for new nuclear plants. The next category analyzed was the economical costs and benefits building a nuclear plant would impose on Utah. The third category and the one most in support of continuing nuclear power plant construction in the U.S. was recent technological progress. This section detailed new plant designs, as well as highlighting advanced plant safety features and shorter construction timelines. The last and possibly most important category was assessing whether Utah’s environment is able to sustain a nuclear plant’s intense water demands throughout its lifetime.
After a Utah specific assessment it seems that if a utility can get past the political opposition, the other three sectors combined allow for the feasibility of building a commercial nuclear power plant. Unfortunately it would not be completed in time to impact emissions levels before the WCI deadline. Therefore while the policy recommendation states that building a nuclear power plant in Utah would be beneficial for GHG emission reductions, only if the WCI enforces a second goal past 2020, would building a nuclear plant aid in the mitigation goals.
Advisor:Weinthal, Erika Dr
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:nuclear power utah western climate initiative
Date of Publication:04/24/2008