Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Greenpeace changes to support Nuclear power

Or at least Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace has: (hattip: Washington Post)

This is critical reading for all those people who still oppose nuclear power stations - and all those (like myself) who only tentatively support it.  He systematically goes through virtually every complaint about Nuclear power and shows why it is patently false; or at least no longer true.  The main points he makes for me are:

Myth: Nuclear waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. Within 40 years, used fuel has less than one-thousandth of the radioactivity it had when it was removed from the reactor. And it is incorrect to call it waste, because 95 percent of the potential energy is still contained in the used fuel after the first cycle. Now that the United States has removed the ban on recycling used fuel, it will be possible to use that energy and to greatly reduce the amount of waste that needs treatment and disposal. Last month, Japan joined France, Britain and Russia in the nuclear-fuel-recycling business. The United States will not be far behind.
Myth: Nuclear energy is expensive. In 2004, the average cost of producing nuclear energy in the United States was less than two cents per kilowatt-hour, comparable with coal and hydroelectric.
Myth: Nuclear plants are not safe.  The multi-agency U.N. Chernobyl Forum reported last year that 56 deaths could be directly attributed to the accident, most of those from radiation or burns suffered while fighting the fire. Tragic as those deaths were, they pale in comparison to the more than 5,000 coal-mining deaths that occur worldwide every year.

Over the past 20 years, one of the simplest tools -- the machete -- has been used to kill more than a million people in Africa, far more than were killed in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings combined. What are car bombs made of? Diesel oil, fertilizer and cars. If we banned everything that can be used to kill people, we would never have harnessed fire.
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3 comments:

James Aach said...

FYI: In the linked article above, Dr. Moore mentions other environmentalists who’ve called for a second look at nuclear power, including Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog. Mr. Brand has also recently endorsed my techno-thriller novel about the inside world of nuclear power, “Rad Decision”. This book is available at no cost to readers – who seem to like it, judging from the comments they’re leaving on the home page. “Rad Decision” is written as an “airport paperback” and is a great way to learn about the good and bad of this energy source. (There’s plenty of both.) It’s based on my two decades in the US nuclear industry. RadDecision.blogspot.com

Brian said...

Patrick is paid by the nuclear industry to say what he says. Real scientists considered nuclear power during the negotiation of the Kyoto treaty. Why did they decide not to award carbon credit for the building of nuclear power plants? Because they don't save carbon. When patrick says that 95% of the energy in waste can be recovered, that's only through reprocessing -- an insanely carbon-intense process which also produces plutonium. Tell me that's not deadly, and I'll eat my solar panels.

Patrick had a lot of help with his case -- he's not that good a writer and I reckon an army of PR flacks wrote this for him.

Greenpeace itself has never changed its mind about nuclear power. Patrick himself they HAVE changed their mind about. Rober Hunter called him an "Eco Judas."

There's a thousand better ways to generate energy than nuclear. Investing in nuclear robs money from truly safe, clean, renewable options.

Anonymous said...

Patick Moore is a big fat liar
http://www.fanweb.org/patrick-moore/