I hate to paraphrase a terrible sexist joke but when it comes to nuclear power, I sometimes feel like we can’t live with it and we can’t live without it.
There are lots of reasons to worry about nuclear power. No. 1 may be cost. As I noted last week, a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists tallied up the costs of government support for nuclear power from uranium mining to waste disposal, and it concluded that “subsidies to the nuclear fuel cycle have often exceeded the value of the power produced. This means that buying power on the open market and giving it away for free would have been less costly than subsidizing the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.” Those costs, if anything, will only get higher because of the added scrutiny that the nuclear accident in Japan has brought to the industry.
And yet…without preserving and expanding nuclear power as an energy source, it’s extremely hard for me to see any path towards the low-carbon future that we need. As Robert Bryce, the author of Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Ruels of the Future, once put it, “If you are anti-carbon dioxide and anti-nuclear, you are pro-blackout.”
These issues, and more, will be the topic of a live webcast on Wednesday June 29, 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT, presented by The Energy Collective, a website about energy and climate. I’ll be moderating. Registration is free and available here.
We’ll be talking about the following issues: [click to continue…]