Monday, February 21, 2005

Joel Makower: Two Steps Forward: No Nukes Are Good Nukes

No Nukes Are Good Nukes

Joel Makower demolishes the love-letter to nuclear power published in the latest Wired (which was a pretty darn cool magazine ten years ago):

"Wind, biomass, and other renewables are “capital- and land-intensive, and solar is not yet remotely cost-competitive,” claim the authors, while nuclear power is -- well, not quite “too cheap to meter,” a hollow promise the industry made back in the 1950s, but mere pennies a kilowatt-hour, they swear. That’s true . . . if you don’t count the high security costs of protecting nuclear plants, the environmental damage of uranium mining, and the incalculable costs of safely storing nuclear wastes -- something we haven’t yet figured out how to do. It’s like saying that the real price of gas is whatever we pay at the pump."


At 08:29, Blogger Ted Lemon said...

I think people have a strong tendency to minimize the disadvantages of the technology they are pushing, and maximize the disadvantages of the technology they are against. This is unfortunate, since it makes rational discourse impossible.

I find it interesting, for example, that Larry Niven, one of my favorite science fiction authors, thinks that people who are against nuclear power are simply irrational. That's pretty much my attitude about people who are in favor of nuclear power.

If we persist in holding attitudes like this, it's impossible to reach any kind of agreement - we are doomed to just keep fighting.

There's nothing to do about people who have a vested interest in nuclear power and lack the honesty to consider the pros and cons rationally, but at least for those of us who do not have any such vested interest, it would be nice if we could discuss the pros and cons of different forms of energy generation with an open mind.


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