Nuclear energy is nothing – nuclear energy is everything.
University of Greenwich Professor of Energy Studies Stephen Thomas would like a word with you about the utter failure of the nuclear renaissance – not just here but in Europe, too.
"We've been waiting in vain on a 'Nuclear Renaissance' in Europe since the early 1990s. Even before the recent collapse in energy prices and the financial downturn, it was clear that all of the talk of a new resurgence in the prospects for nuclear reactors was just that: talk. It is for this reason that I find it so odd that the case for more nuclear power is being built in the United States on an entirely mythical notion of some kind of international 'race' that the U.S. supposedly is losing. In reality, the nuclear power industry in Europe is in the midst of the same kind regulatory and financial uncertainty that makes the future of the industry murky at best in this nation.
I think he means England by “this nation,” but he’s pretty dour altogether. You can read all of Thomas’ piece over at Environmental Protection. Even given our perspective, this seems a bit off to us, with EDF having secured a major portion of British Power and gearing up to replace Britain’s aging fleet. Thomas does address this a bit:
The first new order is unlikely before 2013 and by this time there could be two general elections and waning governmental support, which has driven things so far.
Well, yes, that certainly could be less government support, just as there could be more or things could be not much changed at all. Perhaps a meteor will send the earth off its axis. You just never know. (We have a hunch Professor Thomas just ran out of argument.)
And now Christopher Calder would like a word with you about renewable energy:
Renewable energy schemes, other than hydroelectric power, take up too much land area and produce far too little energy to be of significant value. Biofuels are the worst disaster of the 21st century, causing the starvation deaths of millions of people worldwide by displacing food production.
Millions of people? Ulp!
Wind power sounds like a good idea until you discover that to produce the energy output of just one automobile engine, you need a Godzilla sized windmill that costs a small fortune and kills birds and bats by the thousands.
You have to give Calder credit – he really amps up the morbidity. Well, here’s his solution:
Nuclear power is safe, reliable, carbon free, takes up very little space, and does not displace food production. … With the use of nuclear fuel reprocessing and breeder reactors, we have enough nuclear fuel to last for thousands of years.
One could say nuclear energy’s appeal is that it doesn’t starve people or chop bats into little pieces. It’s almost enough dismay and horror to send us into the arms of Professor Thomas.
It’s one of the lucky vampire bats not shredded by a Godzilla-like windmill. And Disney’s Old Mill, from the 1937 Silly Symphony.