Skip to main content

Another Environmentalist for Nuclear Energy

After hearing a presentation from Ariel Levite, the former Principal Deputy Director General for Policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, Eric Wesoff at Greentech Media is slowly changing his mind about nuclear energy:
I am a knee-jerk environmentalist and have a visceral response to the word “nuclear.” But the more I learn and read, the more experts I speak with, the more my mind is changed — nuclear is a necessary part of the energy mix, albeit with enormous risk.

These risks need to be confronted head-on by sound technology, policy, diplomacy and science.

Comments

rks said…
Some nuclear experts might like to get across to theoildrum and comment on Gail the Actuary's careful analysis of the Uranium supply issue. I guess we already know that the current style of once-through nuclear power stations is not going to work for long. How quickly can we switch to something better?
David Walters said…
I concur...it's a huge hit piece on nuclear energy fuel supplies.

David
Anonymous said…
David, I concur too. The Club of Rome mindset strikes again. News idiots. Same idiocies.

It's a shameless hit piece based on a grotesque and willful misunderstanding of the NEA stated reserves. Using the current estimate - 4.7 millions metric tons of U metal - as a definitive assessment is a sorry joke.

Just one resource - the Moroccan phosphates - blows up all their assumptions: at least, 6 millions metric tons of U metal according to IAEA estimates and Areva's engineers actually think it's north of 10 million metric tons.

Oooppps! I feel sorry for the Oil Drummers. Their estimate is off by at least a factor 2.5 and more likely 3.5 and all of that on the basis of a single mining resource.

I'm afraid Doomsday and the Collapse of Civilization As We Know It has been, again, pushed back to a later, yet to be determined date...
Anonymous said…
Nuclear Power, plus electric cars can bring a bright future to the world. Nuclear power will be the worlds primary energy source at some point. There is too much evidence for climate change for the world to ignore it (hopefully we are rational in the aggregate). The alternatives are simply not practical (wind, solar) especially in countries without vast expanses that they could sacrifice to wind or solar farms. We must increase education efforts on nuclear power to dispel the widespread myths regarding the technology (e.g. Gwyneth Cravens --- 'Power to Save the World'). 

We must encourage the development of safety regimes and the training of nuclear engineers. It appears that the UK will be one of the countries leading the way, along with India, China, and probably Italy (and hopefully the US). I believe that as the benefits become more obvious there will be a rapid acceleration in the development of nuclear power around the world, which will not only bring great economic benefits, but may avert an ecological catastrophe. 

In the more distant future there are dozens of very interesting ideas for advanced nuclear designs (Thorium reactors, high-T gas reactors, etc.) but for the present we can not wait for these technologies to be sorted out and developed but should go ahead with the proven designs we have today.
Anonymous said…
You're completely ignoring the political context of this comment.

Little wonder a high official of the Israeli AEC is embracing nuclear power. The "research" reactor at which his nation has produced the plutonium for its vast nuclear weapons arsenal, Dimona, is beyond the end of its safe operational lifetime. They need a new reactor in the short to medium term.

And Israel is not an NPT member state. Any bets on whether the new reactor, whatever its declared purpose, will be placed under IAEA safeguards?

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …