Issue: Energy: Safety of Energy Production
Energy production can entail risks to the ecology of a local or even larger area. This includes all aspects of ecological safety, including impacts on geology, physical structures, and living organisms. This issue is asking for proposals to address improvements in safety in any area of energy production.
A major concern with regard to the continuing use (and even termination of use) of nuclear power to generate electricity is how to deal with long term storage of above ground high-level waste dry storage casks at the site(s) where the waste is generated or relocated. A proposal for transferring such casks from above ground locations, where they are potentially at risk due to storms, geologic movement, failure of containment and also terrorist attack (and razing the fears of area communities), has been proposed. It is to create underground silo storage locations at selected sites in geologically appropriate locations around the country. This proposed solution has been submitted to the Nuclear Registry Commission ("Subject: Proposal for Underground Storage of High Level Nuclear Waste Casks" Oct. 11, 2011). Comments are requested in response to the proposal submitted.
There is considerable debate as to whether or not the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline should proceed. While one argument presented is that it would lead to more jobs, it appears that the greatest number of such jobs will be temporary, and could easily be surpassed by a focus in the U.S. on infrastructure renewal. In addition, it is not clear that the pipeline is essential to the profits of the oil industry. While moving crude oil across the U.S. might be a safer alternative then doing so by rail, its construction by itself at this time might not significantly reduce rail transport either. On balance, it is suggested that the construction of the pipeline not be approved.