Thursday, 21 November 2013

"Unavoidable Answer for the Problem of Climate Change"

Workers removing fuel rods from one of the reactors at the Daiichi plant
in Fukushima, Japan, site of a nuclear accident in 2011.
I've been banging on for a while about Nuclear energy needing to be part of any carbon mitigation measures.
And now Eduardo Porter, writing in the International New York Times, has set out the case for it.  The best summary I've seen for a while.
BTW: the online headline (above), is different from the paper copy, which is "Nuclear could be the only answer", and has a caption noting that "... The perceived danger of radiation is far greater than the reality, one study shows."
Both Japan and Germany are now emitting more carbon dioxide than before they closed their nuclear power stations.
What did they think would happen?
The cost of nuclear is the same or lower that of wind (especially offshore) and solar, and is safer than all  the traditional energy sources.
But Japan’s about-face on its climate promises — which followed the government’s decision to shut down its nuclear power generators after the meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima — is also an opportunity for a reality check in the debate over how to slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases warming the atmosphere.
It brings into sharp focus the most urgent challenge: How will the world replace fossil fuels? Can it be done fast enough, cheaply enough and on a sufficient scale without nuclear energy? For all the optimism about the prospects of wind, sun and tides to power our future, the evidence suggests the answer is no.
Read it all...