A good friend of mine works for a company that provides equipment specifically for nuclear power plants. We were together last evening for a few minutes, and the conversation turned to why there are only four nuclear reactors currently under construction in the United States. Given that nuclear power is cheaper and cleaner than virtually any other option — what gives?
No nukes is bad nukes
Bloomberg examines why it's so hard to get nuclear plants built, and how domestic access to cheap natural gas has stunted demand for nuclear power. Even if natural gas is cheaper in the short-run, it's essential that America re-focus energy generation on nuclear. It will drastically reduce our carbon footprint and provide sustainable, inexpensive power without the downsides of burning gas.
Keep the open seas open
Reticent as I am to ever agree with the President, I was pleased to see the news that the US is conducting freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. Open seas have been a cornerstone of American policy since Jefferson, and this represents one of the key areas where it makes sense to push back on China forcefully and militarily to assert our place as a Pacific power.
Was that the end of Jeb!?
Nate Silver had resisted the urge to declare the Bush campaign dead — until this week's awful debate performance. It's sad to see such a great candidate continue to blow it throughout the campaign, or even deliver a single forceful remark this past week. The article notes that in many ways the Bush death spiral is becoming a self-fulfiling prophecy: the more it is written about, the harder it is to convince people the candidacy is still viable.
Our path toward the singularity is slowing
Moore's Law may be coming to an end. The New York Times has an article this week explaining the slowdown in processor and chip development, and acknowledges that our rate of technological advancement is likely to slow as well. I had sincerely looked forward to uploading my mind into the matrix before I died; this article makes me think we won't quite be there yet!