Monday, May 15, 2006

The New York Times and the 'Greening of Nuclear Power'

An editorial that ran in Saturday's edition of The New York Times titled, "The Greening of Nuclear Power," did just what we've been asking critics of our industry to do over the past few years -- to give nuclear energy a second look in light of concerns about energy security and environmental protection:

There is good reason to give nuclear power a fresh look. It can diversify our sources of energy with a fuel -- uranium -- that is both abundant and inexpensive. More important, nuclear energy can replace fossil-fuel power plants for generating electricity, reducing the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute heavily to global warming. That could be important in large developing economies like China's and India's, which would otherwise rely heavily on burning large quantities of dirty coal and oil.
After running through some of the standard concerns -- ones that our CEO Skip Bowman addressed at MIT back in January -- The Times concluded:
Nuclear power has a good safety record in this country, and its costs, despite the high initial expense of building the plants, are looking more reasonable now that fossil fuel prices are soaring. How much impact it could really have in slowing carbon emissions has yet to be spelled out, but there is no doubt that nuclear power could serve as a useful bridge to even greener sources of energy.
I'm sure there are more than a few readers who would never have dreamed of seeing an editorial like this run in The Times. It's really a new world for nuclear energy.

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