Skip to main content

“The humanitarian imperative to using nuclear power”

What can be happening in editorials these days? Is nuclear energy going pear shaped under the weight of – economics? natural gas? gastric distress? No, none of these. Actually, the views of different news outlets and their op-ed writers is not so bad.

Take this from NJ dot com, a website shared by several state papers (the op-ed comes from the Times of Trenton):

There is good reason to give nuclear power a fresh look. It can replace fossil-fuel-burning power plants for generating electricity 24/7, avoiding air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions that could contribute to global warming.

This is nothing new to readers here, but we certainly purr when we hear it in the mainstream press anyway.

Now, this is interesting, an argument that really does tend to dwell among the nuclear friendly only:

There is a humanitarian imperative to using nuclear power. More than 2 billion people still lack access to electricity for basic needs such as clean water, cooking, sanitation and light. Nuclear power has the most potential to close the gap in energy availability between the world’s rich and its disadvantaged people.

Writer James McGovern really picks up points for promulgating what we might call the existential argument for nuclear energy. Electricity can transform a hell scape of underdevelopment into a (relative) garden of progress. We’re well past the point where people must have electricity and at the point where they will have it, one way or another. And McGovern, an energy consultant, sees that clearly.

The bottom line is that nuclear power is not the problem, but part of the solution. Together with further improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, it can have a major positive impact in the battle against climate change.

Yup. He’s right every step of the way.

---

From the International Business Times:

South Africa is the only sub-Saharan African country with active nuclear power plants. But research-oriented nuclear reactors have been tested in a few other countries -- including Kenya, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- and it is clear that there is widespread interest in a nuclear-powered future all across the continent. Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Niger and others have expressed interest in building up nuclear expertise within their borders.

Exactly what McGovern is talking about. The whole article is worth a read.

See, the thing is, many countries are struggling toward a late industrial revolution – a late information revolution – and the developed world has lately decided that carbon emissions are bad. But how do we keep the developing world from using fossil fuels if that is the easiest way to make electricity? Can we, morally? No, but we can suggest an alternative that keeps both goals in sight.

---

From The Australian:

The inclusion of nuclear power in Australia's electricity generation mix could reduce power prices by 20 per cent and save about $150 billion from now until 2050 in greenhouse gas abatement costs and the health costs of burning fossil fuels, an analysis of future energy options has found.

This will never, ever happen, no matter what – I mean, the Australians accepting nuclear energy (you can throw New Zealand in there, too). It’s like a national blood pact, signed at birth. Love to see it happen, doubt it ever will. But that’s okay – tougher nuts are sweeter to crack.

Comments

SteveK9 said…
Professor Brook keeps fighting the good fight in Australia -- 'Brave New Climate', but you are probably right.
John ONeill said…
New Zealand had plans for a reactor in the seventies, till they found a big gas field. That's nearly all been burnt now; are the seventies back in fashion yet?
jimwg said…
To me, it's it's immoral as hell when Greens try to scare Africa not to go nuclear with wildly-exaggerated perils and groundless FUD hawking their irresponsible philosophical propaganda which isn't going supply Africans with a wilt of low-environment impact/footprint clean ample power and fresh water like nukes would -- who are currently dying and starving by millions per year without -- with zero media mention. But does Greenpeace and FOE & Co. care? Nonooo! Must stamp out evil nuclear energy for scary WWIII nightmares and the bad things done in Hiroshoima and raze mountains and savannahs for bogus "renewables." In a word, the "humanity" of the Greens is the opus of bold-faced hypocrisy bordering defacto mass murder by actively frustrating and denying the development of life-saving energy to millions of Africans.

James Greenidge
Queens NY


Popular posts from this blog

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…

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?

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…