A friend recommended reading an opinion piece on the UK’s shambolic policy on nuclear energy. I stopped reading after “The facts on nuclear are pretty clear. It is far and away the safest means of generating a given amount of electrical energy known to man”. Idiot.
Even if you’re prepared to ignore the very real ongoing effects of Chernobyl / Three Mile Island / Fukushima, and their obvious Bayesian downstream pointers to the reality of nuclear safety statistics, nobody has any way yet of dealing with the tonnes of hazardous waste with half-lives into the tens of thousands of years. Nobody on the nuclear side takes account of the enormous energy and carbon debt costs involved in extracting and refining uranium (or thorium, for that matter) – and the lives lost in that. Small tendency to ignore the side production of weapons grade nuclear material (which can still be done in a thorium reactor, if you’re doing it deliberately). Also tendency to ignore the fact that, if the world seriously stepped up nuclear reactor production, we’d run out of fissile material before we run out of oil.
And safer than wind, solar, geothermal ??
Idiot, like I said.
PS: now this is interesting reading: http://beyondzeroemissions.org/
– a plan for how the producer of a lot of the world’s uranium, Australia, which has never built and has no intention of building a nuclear power station, can retire every coal, gas and oil-fired power station within ten years.
Obviously not a plan for the the UK, which is short of a) sunshine and b) 15kmx15km spare bits of land, but still … you can buy your electricity from Spain and North Africa …