Monday, March 26, 2007

Why Doesn't Al Gore Embrace Nuclear Energy?

From The Daily Inter Lake, (Mont.):

Al Gore, the former vice president and recent Oscar recipient, sanctimoniously decrees that Americans should reduce their “carbon footprints” while he runs up electric bills that could power an entire neighborhood. He exonerates himself by purchasing “carbon offsets” from a company that he has a financial interest in. The company invests in wind power or other green projects, and presto, his conscience is clean. Just like purchasing a medieval indulgence for cleansing away sins.

Gore never talks about one source of energy that would greatly reduce carbon emissions, and that’s nuclear energy. Why doesn’t Gore urge Congress to provide incentives for nuclear power development, a change that would vastly reduce the nation’s carbon footprint?

Because the left has long detested and protested nuclear power plants. And Gore certainly isn’t going to counter that position, because he has become a national environmental leader.
As we've noted before, not every environmentalist is anti-nuclear energy. Here's hoping folks like that start getting more attention.


Joffan said...

Quotes like that one illustrate how to lose friends on the left. Using a RW script and ignoring the positive, NEI Nuclear Notes will make no left-leaning friends with such a link.

I'd like Gore to talk about nuclear too, but anything that highlights the dangers of coal is implicitly good for nuclear. You could regard Gore as an ally, if not yet a friend.

Bruce said...

Nuclear power has more than just a little greenhouse gas attached to it. When mining uranium ore, refining and enriching fuel, building the plant, and operating it are included, a big 1,250 megawatt plant produces the equivalent of 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Most comments I read in the press talk only about emmission from an operating plant, but not from the entire life-cycle. This is misleading.

Eric McErlain said...

Incorrect. That's a charge that's regularly leveled at the industry, and it simply isn't true. Click here for more.

The total lifecycle emissions for nuclear are roughly equivalent to that of hydropower. Just because you repeat the same lie over and over again doesn't make it true.

Jim Hopf said...

Emissions of 250,000 tons of CO2 per year from a 1,250 MW plant corresponds to ~25 grams of CO2 per kW-hr. This is 30-40 times less than that of a coal plant. This qualifies as "just a little" greenhouse gas. Reducing emissions by 97-98% is something worth persuing.

Whether plant operations only or the whole process is being referred to, the central truth is the same. Nuclear (as well as renewables) has negligible CO2 emissions, compared to fossil fuels. Any indirect emissions are negligible, and all these sources are essentially emissions-free.

Thus, the press is not misleading the public when they refer to nuclear, or renewables, as emissions-free sources. Leaving out the details (i.e., minor indirect emissions) is not misleading, as these emissions are too small to be important. A 97-98% reduction will be good enough to solve the problem.

Stewart Peterson said...

Y'all are missing the point: there is no mechanism in a nuclear reactor that produces or emits carbon dioxide. Any emissions on the part of suppliers are the fault of the polluters and they should pay, not the customer.

Anonymous said...

Well consider this:

There is no one on the planet, no one, who could give nuclear a warmer embrace than Al Gore.

It ain't over until the fat man loses weight.