Our neighbor here are Blogspot, Rod Adams of Atomic Insights - tops on our blog roll - is currently debating nuclear energy as a viable solution for climate change with Matt, a sustainability consultant who writes regularly for TalkClimateChange. The conversation is happening over at Green Options and promises to be exceptionally broad ranging.
Here's a taster of Rod's opening:
We can build nuclear plants safely and rapidly enough to make a real different in resource availability. During the ten year period between 1975 and 1985, the amount of new energy production from nuclear plants was roughly equivalent to adding about 6 million barrels of oil per day to the world's available energy supply. Note - that is not nameplate "capacity" like you find with wind turbines that are often idle, it is actual production.
The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2003 ("The Cost of GeneratingElectricity") put gas-fired combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) at 2.2 units of cost, and nuclear at 2.3 units of cost. This does not take into account the savings from district heating. We have at our disposal the knowledge, tools and labour to connect CCGT to district heating today, we just need the political will to do so.
In addition, nuclear requires serious subsidy - the free market would not go near it with a barge pole.
That last sentence is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.
We'd say, "May the best man win," but that would sound a little tinny coming from this corner. We know who will win.
PS: If you get the right ad at the top on the Green Option page, you'll learn that Clorox has a new cleaner called Green Works. Not sure it isn't bleach in a bottle with leaves on it, but it certainly suggests the commercial possibilities that have emerged around "greeniness" over the last year or so.