Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANL Director: Use of Nuclear Energy is "Unavoidable"


In today's edition of E&E TV's On Point, Monica Trauzzi interviews Robert Rosner, director of the Argonne National Lab. He has some interesting things to say about nuclear energy:

Monica Trauzzi: Where do you think the debate over nuclear stands and do you see it having a major role in the future of U.S. energy policy?

Robert Rosner: So the answer is, let me start with the second part. I think nuclear is at some level unavoidable. When we think about what the energy mix will be for stationary power say 30 years from now or 40 years from now, it's very hard to see how you're going to avoid the use of nuclear power. Even in the most optimistic scenarios about carbon sequestration one question that does come up is, in the long term, if you're really talking about say time scales of the order of say a century, 100 years, does the United States, for example, have sufficient reservoir capacity to actually contain all the CO2 that would need to be, for example, pumped into the ground if you sequester it? The answer is, well, it's not so clear. So if you take the long view, not next year, not five years, but if you really take the long view of say 50 years from now, 100 years from now, it's very hard to see how you can avoid a source of energy such as nuclear. So having said that the question is, well, how do you get there? The rest of the world is plunging on ahead. There's no question about it. If you go to China or you go to India they're busy building nuclear plants. If you go to Europe the Europeans are starting to build nuclear plants.
For the transcript, click here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I guess CO2 is similar to deadly nuclear waste in that it needs to be sequestered "forever." Except that it doesn't decay. Maybe we should reprocess used fuel and sequester CO2 at Yucca Mt. Would that be ok with Harry Reid?

Anonymous said...

The case for nuclear is that it is unavoidable? That's stupid.

I can think of several ways it could be avoided for the balance of this century, and almost as many ways it could be avoided by a high-power-using world almost indefinitely.

The case for nuclear is that it is safer and cleaner than today's majority energy sources, and, unlike them, inexhaustible. People who have a choice between putting themselves close to either an oil burner or a nuclear reactor that serves the same purpose sensibly choose the latter, even if working for an organization that lobbies to protect and increase fossil fuel tax revenue.

--- G. R. L. Cowan, former H2-energy fan

Rod Adams said...

The real question is why would you want to avoid a power source that is as capable, as clean, and as abundant as nuclear fission.

With leaders like this in the "industry" who needs enemies?

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, Stewart Brand and/or James Lovelock have couched their support for nuclear power in "neccesary evil" terms. I don't see this as being any different.

Rod Adams said...

I cannot understand the "necessary evil" comment either. As far as I can tell, fission is a huge boon to mankind - more of a gift from Nature or God or whoever runs this place we call Earth.

Why do even nukes fail to see the beautiful poetry, symmetry and amazingly efficient way to produce the power needed to mold the world to make it a more friendly place?

Maybe more people need to make friends with their neighborhood reactor. (I always thought of the reactor I was responsible for as a trusted shipmate.)