Scientific American has always been a reliable source for great science reporting and on-target insight; this story is consistent with that legacy. In spite of advances in solar energy generation, most notably with the deployment of solar-thermal power stations (please see my article describing this new technology highlighting the Ivanpah solar-thermal power station in the Mojave Desert), carbon-emissions free Nuclear power is the only viable alternative to fill the major gaps in energy generation as we move away from carbon-based sources. Modern “Fast Breeder Reactors” for the most part, eliminate the need for nuclear waste disposal. The most common breeding reaction is that of plutonium-239 from non-fissionable uranium-238. The term “fast breeder” refers to the types of configurations which can actually produce more fissionable fuel than they use.
My only exception to this article is the author’s comment
“I am concerned the nuclear industry are using the climate ’emergency’ to promote their product“
With Carbon emissions being the highest since the demise of the dinosaurs, Climate Change remains one of the greatest existential threats to life on this planet that humanity has ever faced.
Although I support Bernie Sanders and consider him the only real choice for the next President of the United States, he’s wrong on Nuclear Power. In a previous piece, I discuss why science has to be a priority for the next US President.
Imagination is more important than knowledge
An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Scientific American reports increasing interest in using nuclear power to lower US CO2 emissions – but Presidential wannabe Bernie Sanders has vowed to decommission all US nuclear power plants.
The Nuclear Option Could Be Best Bet to Combat Climate Change
To cut CO2 pollution, experts argue for nuclear power.
Many analysts are now calling not just to preserve existing nuclear power plants, but to invest in new designs to help fight climate change. “A new round of innovation for nuclear reactors would be quite important,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz last month.
Across the United States, nuclear provides 20 percent of all electricity and more than 60 percent of greenhouse gas-free electricity. But some plants have already shut down ahead of schedule, and others may do so, as well, not because of environmental opposition but because…
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