The Intersection

Nuclear Energy? Not Yet.

This week at NexGen we’re taking on nuclear energy, but be assured your resident blogger has some serious reservations. Two words: Radioactive Waste.

High-level radioactive waste is too irradiated for normal industrial disposal because exposure would pose a general health hazard to human and animal populations. Going nuclear means producing substances that can never be released back into the normally recycling industrial environment. Ever.

And of course, there’s Yucca Mountain:

Oh and don’t forget that pesky concern over how to transport radioactive waste from different parts of the country into Nevada. Talk about an open invite to terrorists… given the handy Homeland Security color scheme has us at a constant state of ‘high riskorange already, I somehow suspect the mapped truck routes may just spike us off the charts into hypercolor.

My less-than-favorable perspective is now up over at NexGen



  1. #1 Raffaele C.
    July 30, 2008

    You mention Yucca Mountain, but IMHO you should also cite WIPP.

  2. #2 Jennifer Ouellette
    July 30, 2008

    Ooh, Sheril, brace yourself for a storm of criticism. 🙂 I expressed a similar opinion once on CPP, and all hell broke loose. Apparently one is not allowed to be scientifically minded AND object to nuclear power on the grounds of the waste it generates.

    My take: in the short term, nuclear power might be a necessary evil, and preferable to fossil fuels, but it’s not ideal, and should mostly be a stop-gap measure. On the whole we need a broad portfolio of alternative energy sources. We don’t want to make the same mistake and rely too heavily on a single energy source.

  3. #3 Sovietologist
    July 31, 2008

    Just out of curiosity, what is your opinion of the pro-nuclear arguments of Sir David King, which were so instrumental in convincing the UK to pursue a new generation of nuclear plants? I believe that Sir David may be the greatest authority on climate change to have firmly placed himself in the pro-nuclear camp.

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