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A Green Goes Nuclear

Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, makes a compelling case for nuclear energy in this Washington Post article. There's some good points here, including dispelling a lot of myths that have been spread about.

Dr. Moore does make some good points. He also references The China Syndrome, demonstrating how much popular entertainment feeds public perception of nuclear power. In his article, Dr. Moore also mentions other environmentalists who’ve called for a second look at nuclear power, including Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog. Mr. Brand has also recently endorsed my techno-thriller novel about the inside world of nuclear power, “Rad Decision”. This book is available online at no cost to readers – who seem to like it, judging from the comments they’re leaving on the home page. “Rad Decision” is written as an “airport paperback” and is a great way to learn about the good and bad of this energy source. (There’s plenty of both.) It’s based on my two decades in the US nuclear industry. RadDecision.blogspot.com

Thanks for pointing out this article, Dan, it's really good. I have long agreed with the idea that nuclear is the best option out of our current energy bind. Well, I should say that I have believed this ever since I came to the conclusion that fusion isn't coming down the pipe on a white horse anytime soon.

I particularly agree with his assessment that the intermittent nature of wind and solar power forces us to look for another workhorse to take the bulk of the power generation requirements from gas, coal, and oil.

Now if we can only figure out what to do with the mid- and low-level wastes.

He's not a green. He's a paid hack, currently employed by the nuclear energy industry.

Previously he was employed by the BC forestry industry to lobby in favour of clear-cutting forests.

I dealt with him here:

http://section15.blogspot.com/2006/04/patrick-moore-is-not-environmentalist.html

Mark, you are right about Moore's checkered environmental past. However, I think that he's right on when it comes to nukes. Without drastic economic changes, it is difficult to see how we can supply enough energy in large quantities. It would be good to see a larger distribution of small-scale non-polluting sources like wind and solar, as well as much more disciplined approach to lessening demand, but I'm not sure either of those options are going to happen quickly enough.

Well, nuclear simply won't hapen quickly enough either.

Every nuclear plant in Canada needs to be replaced by 2025.

It's 2006, and we have nothing planned. It takes years to plan and build them, not to mention lots of money.

Meanwhile, in that time frame, we could easily -- and I mean easily -- reduce our power usage to at least not require anything more than replacing the current plants.

New York state uses far, far less power per capita than Ontario, and power costs a lot more there. I don't see NY state hurting.

Dedicating so much money so that we can waste even more power is highly inefficient, and is a drain to our economy.

Conservation finds savings, which improves our economy.

This is not a supply-side problem.

Mark,

Excellent point - reducing consumption is key, but as you say, we will still need to replace existing plants as time goes on - and I think nukes are a good way to go.

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