Nuclear Power Is The Future – Probably not…

People who tout Nukes as the Future take for granted that there is fuel out there.

Questioning Nuclear Power’s


To Forestall Global Warming

ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2008) — Rising energy and environmental costs may prevent nuclear power from being a sustainable alternative energy source in the fight against global warming, according to a new study.

    In the article, Gavin M. Mudd and Mark Diesendorf investigate the “eco-efficiency” of mining and milling uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants. Advocates of nuclear power claim it has the potential to mitigate global warming. Detractors, however, link it to dangers such as proliferation of nuclear weapons and problems such as permanent disposal of nuclear waste.

The study points out that supplies of high-grade uranium ore are declining, which may boost nuclear fuel’s environmental and economic costs, including increases in energy use, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, newly discovered uranium deposits may be more difficult to extract in the future — a further drain on economic and environmental resources.

“The extent of economically recoverable uranium, although somewhat uncertain, is clearly linked to exploration effort, technology and economics but is inextricably linked to environmental costs, such as energy, water, and chemicals consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and broader social issues,” the authors say. “These issues are critical to understand in the current debate over nuclear power, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change, especially with respect to ascribing sustainability to such activities as uranium milling and mining.”

Don’t believe me? What about the guys and gals at MIT?

But the prospects for nuclear energy as an option are limited, the report finds, by four unresolved problems: high relative costs; perceived adverse safety, environmental, and health effects; potential security risks stemming from proliferation; and unresolved challenges in long-term management of nuclear wastes.

Or maybe the the Australian Monthly Review?

The following article on “The Future of Nuclear Power” by Robert D. Furber, James C. Warf, and Sheldon C. Plotkin, scientists with a long history of addressing this issue, seeks to lay bare the realities of nuclear power. Although much more difficult to read than the typical MR article, we encourage all of our readers to study it closely. Its conclusion?: “any building of new [nuclear] plants would be a serious mistake….the future of nuclear power, as we know it, is very poor at best.”

The careful analysis of Furber, Warf, and Plotkin thus points to the irrationality of current proposals to resort massively to nuclear power as an answer to global warming. In order for nuclear power to make a dent in the global warming problem it would be necessary to build hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world, each one taking ten years to construct, and each an enormous hazard to the earth, generating radioactive wastes lasting for hundreds or thousands or millions of years. The most important principle of environmental thought is that of safeguarding the earth for future generations. To turn to nuclear power as a solution to global warming would be to abandon that trust.—Ed.


2 thoughts on “Nuclear Power Is The Future – Probably not…

  1. John A. Warden III, a leading US expert in strategy made this interesing post about: Thinking Strategically About Global Climate Change. I found it provocative and am interested in what your readers think about his idea of creating a Future state for the Global Climate before embarking on a lot of tactical solutions to solve percieved problems.

  2. It is unclear to me what your position is here. Are you arguing that the world is getting cooler? If so why are the ice caps melting?

    Are you saying that there is no global warming? Then I ask again, why are the ice caps melting?

    I assume that the instability in the climate we are introducing into the atmosphere will cause disruptions. Do you not share that belief?

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