A New Look At Nuclear Power

Long viewed as a scourge by the environmental movement, prominent environmentalists, including Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, now believe the time has come for nuclear power, as global warming has presented the newest menace to the environment.

"The nuclear industry recently trotted out two new leaders of its campaign to encourage the building of new reactors. They are Christie Whitman, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace. This campaign is the latest sign that nuclear power is getting a more welcome reception from some environmentalists who have moved on to bigger worries.

True, most environmental organizations remain adamantly opposed to any expansion of nuclear power and instead look to conservation and renewable energy to get us out of the fossil fuel age."

"There is good reason to give nuclear power a fresh look. It can diversify our sources of energy with a fuel -- uranium -- that is both abundant and inexpensive. More important, nuclear energy can replace fossil-fuel power plants for generating electricity, reducing the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute heavily to global warming. That could be important in large developing economies like China's and India's, which would otherwise rely heavily on burning large quantities of dirty coal and oil."

Full Story: The Greening of Nuclear Power

Comments

Comments

Terrorists Love Nuclear Power

Terrorists love nuclear power; a few suicide bombers with dirty bombs that spread nuclear wastes could make large parts of a city uninhabitable. The trucks or trains that haul nuclear fuel and wastes nuclear wastes are also vulnerable to terrorism, as are the power plants themselves.

Rogue states also love nuclear power. If Iran's nuclear power program allows it to develop nuclear weapons, it will be able to keep its promise to wipe Israel off the map.

I have not doubt that solar power would be cheaper than nuclear power if we counted all the costs of nuclear power -- including the costs of security against terrorism, the costs of disposing of wastes, and the costs of liability insurance. The true cost of liability insurance alone would kill nuclear power: if the Price-Anderson Act hadn't limited liability, nuclear plants would never have been built in the United States.

Charles Siegel

Good points but

Good points Charles but solar becomes difficult when it comes down to logistics. The sheer amount of area you would have to cover with solar panels to produce the same amount of electricity as one nuclear plant is astounding. Most of that would inevitably be on private land which is a whole other headache. No time in the foreseeable future will solar be able to make a sizeable dent in relieving our reliance on fossil fuel powered plants. Wind is much more promising but faces similar obstacles in the logistics of getting it implemented. Right now nuclear is the only feasible alternative to greenhouse gas emitting power plants. No doubt progress will be made towards safer, greener methods but for now we are stuck with few options.

Nuclear Power

If nuclear plants with characteristics similar to the designs proposed in a December 2005 Scientific American article can be developed, then terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation would be moot issues. Certainly the approach advocated by that article warrants sufficient research funding. The Chinese seem to be headed that way regardless of what American environmentalists think.

Solar Does Not Require Too Much Area

A rough estimate is that it would take an area of 100 miles by 100 miles to produce all the electricity consumed in the United States. We could easily fit that in the deserts of Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona -- which have lots of sunshine.

Charles Siegel

Roof area available.

brisbane wrote:

The sheer amount of area you would have to cover with solar panels to produce the same amount of electricity as one nuclear plant is astounding.

Fortunately, that space is readily available in the form of roofs.

Best,

D

interesting considering that

interesting considering that a huge nuclear power power near portland oregon will be imploded this sunday...500 foot cooling tower too.

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