Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nuclear Power: Salvation or Disaster?

I just stumbled across the very interesting Wilson Quarterly from the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, and I have really enjoyed reading the debate in last Autumn's issue about nuclear power. Max Schulz says that Nuclear is the Future, while Brice Smith and Arjun Makhijani argue that Nuclear Is Not the Way. Both sides make excellent points, but since I happen to also believe that we are nearing Peak Oil, something that neither side considers in their arguments, I think expanding nuclear power may be worth the risks.

Oh, and I saw a great quote on The Oil Drum when I was retrieving the Peak Oil link:

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

—H. G. Wells, 1904

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At Sat May 19, 11:50:00 pm GMT-7, Blogger Asphalt Bellyflop said...

Peak oil is valid, but the alarming increase of use of oil in China and the way they're trying to get it - through Sudan and through means to which the US cannot stop them in case of a disagreement over Taiwan - is of equal concern.

This new 'competitor' for the US will make peak oil a much greater issue, and much quicker than anticipated. It also increases the likelihood of a problem between China and the US...... never stand between Dubya and his oil.

But on the nuclear topic, I'm not sure. Air travel consumes something like 7$ of the world's oil, and transportation covers over 50% of it - and probably closer to 70% in the US. So to that end, while nuclear energy might be a way to go, I'd also like to see a lot more focus on other more comprehensive solutions, like ethanol or biofuels, if they can retool its production so that it uses less fossil fuels.

Food for thought, that's for sure.


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