Just under 15 minutes on how nuclear power — far from presenting a “solution” — has actually contributed to climate change. In 1952 the US government was advised to go solar. Instead, we got “Atoms for Peace”. If the solar recommendation had been taken, and we had chosen the solar instead of the nuclear path, we might not have had climate change at all. But solar had no military utility, while nuclear reactors made an important “by-product”: plutonium. This is a pre-recorded version of a talk I recently gave for Helensburgh, Scotland CND’s Beyond Nuclear conference. Not in this video is a section I added during the conference presentation about how nuclear power still gets in the way of much needed and urgent renewable energy and energy efficiency development. This is well laid out by Amory Lovins who notes that, to protect the climate, we must save the most carbon at the least cost and in the least time. Since nuclear power is the most expensive way to generate a megawatt hour of electricity, and plants take years to build, it is out of the running even before evaluating its carbon footprint. As Lovins points out, costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options. Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. So in the case of nuclear power, whether it is “low carbon” or not instantly becomes irrelevant because it is already useless for climate change due to its cost and slowness.
Linda Gunter 4th Feb 2021 read more »