Skip to main content

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.

Comments

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.
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.

-NNadir.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …