Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Third Way Memo Supports Expansion of Nuclear Energy

Third Way, a strategy center for progressives, today released a policy memo entitled, Another Inconvenient Truth: Solving Global Warming and Energy Security Requires Nuclear Power. The memo supports expansion of nuclear power and calls on political progressives to support it for three reasons:

1. Expanding nuclear power will make a difference in addressing the problem of global warming.

2. Embracing nuclear power by progressive leaders would have a galvanizing impact on the public, demonstrating the severity of the climate change problem and the need for everyone to make hard choices.

3. Moving forward efficiently on nuclear power could help provide momentum to take additional steps to curb carbon emissions.

But what really caught my eye in the report was this passage concerning the position of environmental activists on the expansion of nuclear energy:

Many advocates have taken this approach, attempting to keep the debate fixed solely on conservation and renewable sources. And no one denies that both are crucial to addressing the problem of global warming—a solution is impossible without real shifts in public behavior and a huge increase in our investment in renewable energy.

But we believe that by talking only about conservation and renewable energy,
advocates have undercut the seriousness of their own argument on climate change.
The American public may not know much about base-load capacity, but they understand that we are not going to get out of our CO2 problem by relying solely on wind farms or geothermal power at this point in time. And they may be reluctant to make hard changes in their own lives—or demand policy fixes to climate change—until environmentalists start making some tough choices too.

Indeed, if advocates were to embrace nuclear power, which many have spent their careers fighting, it would help prove to the public that a dramatic shift in our thinking as a nation is required when our way of life or very existence may be at risk.
To download the PDF, click here.


DV8 2XL said...

Another Inconvenient Truth:

I love it. Made my day.

Anonymous said...

I am going to steal this link and use it for my own purposes.


At the end of the day, I predict that nuclear energy is going to be so popular with environmentalists that we're going to see a lot of fashionable "pro-nukes" concerts with rock stars falling over themselves.

Of course, there is good reason for this: Nuclear energy is the most environmentally friendly energy source there is.


Rod Adams said...


The other consideration is the realization that a rock star would get far more of the attention that they seek by being a pro-nuclear activist, at least right now.

As we all know, dog bites man is not a story, but man bites dog - that makes the front pages.

kconrad said...

That anyone in their right mind could think that nuclear power is environmentally sound is beyond comprehension.

Start with the mining of uranium - thousands of acres of mill tailings and workers with health problems.

Then enrichment uses incredible amounts of electricity (primarily coal-fired).

Then construction needs hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline to fuel vehicles, generators, etc. Electricity from outside sources is needed to run equipment during construction.

Offsite electricity is needed during operation of the plants.

If waste is ever to be transported, more gasoline will be needed.

Dismantling uses more energy and gasoline.

You don't just smap your fingers and presto! a plant arises and operates.

Nuclear plants need to operate at FULL POWER for decades to compensate for all the carbons generated to put them in place and continue their operation. Do you know of any nuclear plant that operates at FULL POWER for that amount of time?