I imagine I am one of the few “progressive” blogs with a link to a strong advocate of nuclear power, right up there with Daily Kos and other familiar destinations. This is because I think we need to consider the options if we simply act as though sun and wind will save us. This posture is really one of passivity because we are not tackling the continual ravaging of our environment with a plan that is equal to the problem.
Whereas in countries like France, nuclear energy is omnipresent and apparently functioning without conspicuous problems or harm to the environment. I do not think that nuclear energy is the culprit as much as the prodiigal and harmful use of it by the United States. I think particularly of the completely unregulated testing in the 50s which left communities east of the Nevada testing grounds to reckon with a grisly cancerous aftermath.
In any case this bit from Atomic Insights Blog caught my eye.
My problem with wind, solar, geothermal and even hydroelectric power is that they are simply not capable of pushing fossil fuels out of any market. All of them absolutely require back-up power sources to make up for times when they are not available and none are capable of direct use as motors for even large vehicles – unless you want to return to the days of clipper ships.
In contrast, atomic fission has pushed coal, oil and gas almost completely out of some fairly significant markets (French electricity, aircraft carrier and submarine propulsion in the US Navy, and icebreaker propulsion in Russia’s arctic fleet). It has also made enough progress in other markets to dramatically change the supply-demand balance and lower prices for all customers. Best of all, it actually prevents the emission of about 700 MILLION TONS of CO2 every year in the US compared to making electricity with coal. (The world total is 2.6 BILLION tons.)