Skip to main content

An Appeal for Unity on Nuclear Energy

After hearing John Edwards declare his outright opposition to nuclear energy during Tuesday's Democratic debate in Nevada, Adam Blinick of The New Republic wrote ...
Gwyneth Cravens's illuminating Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy dispels many of the myths about nuclear energy that Edwards' position helps prop up. For example, she notes coal plants emit more radiation than nuclear ones. (In fact, humans get more radiation from medical x-rays or flying round-trip from New York to L.A. than living near a nuclear plant). Also, Cravens argues that nuclear energy plants are almost completely risk-free regarding nuclear weapons proliferation (it's a different enrichment process) and potential terrorist attacks (U.S. plants are simply too secure). She also makes the argument that we likely have safe ways of disposing of nuclear waste, even at Yucca Mountain.

For all the empty "unity" rhetoric that inevitably is present during an election cycle, nuclear energy--if looked at with sober eyes--provides a real opportunity for the left and right to get together and tackle three of today's greatest challenges: national security, energy independence, and climate change.
Hmmm. Where have we heard that before? For more on the Cravens book, click here for a look at our archives.

UPDATE: Matt Zeitlin has some thoughts on Edwards and his anti-nuclear stance.

Comments

aa2 said…
One thing I would like to see this election cycle, is the Republicans to reach out to some of the unions. Like the welders and boilermakers unions, the IBEW, machinists, United Steel Workers, and maybe the UAW.

Nuclear plant build in America and elsewhere will mean the creation of many very high paying and importantly stable union jobs, from running the plants, maintaining, constructing by skilled tradesmen.. And then the high paying jobs at the American factories to make all of the parts. These aren't 9 dollar an hour service jobs.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…