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商业 - 能源

奥巴马仍然想要核能

Tory Newmyer 2011年04月07日

美国能源部副部长丹尼尔•珀纳曼解读奥巴马总统力挺核电的原因。

    尽管日本福岛核电站发生了巨大灾难,但奥巴马政府仍然坚定不移地支持核电。这是为什么?《财富》的托利•纽麦尔就这一问题对美国能源部副部长丹尼尔•珀纳曼进行了采访。

    日本核危机之后,美国政府部门将如何看待核能在美国能源组合中的地位?

    奥巴马总统的国情咨文呼吁美国采取新的能源策略,以结束我们对外国原油过度依赖的危险局面,并大力发展可再生能源。你必须要站在这个角度看待此问题。我们非常重视核能,我们将其视为能源组合中的一员。不过我们并不会忽略其它类型能源。

    如果这与低成本的清洁能源组合有关,为何不更多地投资于可再生能源,使其更具竞争力?

    首先,我们并不清楚如何给碳排放定价。我们目前通过平均燃料经济性标准(CAFÉ)及其它机制所做的努力是,让大家将重心放到如何获取更清洁的能源组合上。我们必须等待结果,看到底哪种能源的成本最低。现在已有很多创新,而一直以来将决定权留给投资者是对美国经济最有利的方式。

    奥巴马总统预算中为核能新提供的360亿美元贷款担保是否有道理?如此看来,这次核危机的结果仅仅是使得核能融资成本上升,不是吗?

    我们必须要观察市场的长期反应。我们之所以向核能和可再生能源提供贷款担保,是因为我们必须向先驱者提供资金。我们所做的投资都是有条件的。其中一个条件是,除非美国核能管理委员会(Nuclear Regulatory Commission)断定反应堆都在安全运转,否则,相关项目不会得到贷款担保。

    在这样的灾难性事件之后,如何确保公众不对核能技术的安全性丧失信心?

    我们采取的策略必须获得广泛的公众支持。美国民众必须相信它能安全运作。我们期望看到有益地辩论。奥巴马总统已经提出进行为期90天的审查。核能技术应该被仔细审核,因为我们需要确保公众满意核能的安全性。核能行业将需要达到高标准,这无可厚非。

    译者:项航

    FORTUNE -- The Obama administration has remained steadfast in its support of nuclear power, despite the disaster at the Fukushima plant. Fortune's Tory Newmyer interviewed Daniel Poneman, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, to understand why.

    What role does the administration see nuclear playing in our energy portfolio after the disaster in Japan?

    You have to put this in the context of the President's clear call in the State of the Union address for a new energy policy that will end our dangerous over-dependence on foreign oil and include a significant movement to renewables. We're very focused on nuclear power in that context as a component of the mix. But we're not going to pick winners and losers.

    If it's a question of a cost-effective clean-energy mix, why not invest more in renewables in the hope of making them more competitive?

    The problem, to begin with, is we don't now have a price on carbon. The efforts we've undertaken through CAFÉ standards and other mechanisms put an emphasis on getting to a cleaner mix. We need to see how it plays out and which cost curves come out the lowest. There have been a lot of innovations, and the American economy has always done best leaving those decisions to investors.

    Do the $36 billion in new loan guarantees for nuclear in the President's budget still make sense? And isn't the disaster only going to make financing for nuclear more expensive?

    We'll have to see how markets respond over time. The need to get first movers access to financing is the rationale for all loan guarantees, whether nuclear or renewables. The investments we make are conditional commitments. One condition is that unless the Nuclear Regulatory Commission concludes that any reactor is safe to operate, the project will not get the loan guarantee.

    How do you ensure public confidence in the safety of the technology doesn't collapse after an event like this?

    Any strategy we've got going forward has to enjoy a wide degree of public support. The American people have to believe in its safe operation. We expect a healthy debate. The President has called for a 90-day review. That should be heavily scrutinized, because we need to make sure the public is satisfied with the safety of nuclear power. The industry will be held to a high standard and it should be.

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