Friday, March 4, 2022

Forget ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

This entire article is worth reading, but I'd like to emphasize that every minute we're not going full-bore into nuclear power, we're helping Putin and heating the world more than necessary:

Thompson: I’m concerned that the world is turning away from nuclear power at the very moment we most desperately and obviously need nuclear power to make the clean-energy math work. It’d be one thing if only California was turning away from nuclear with the closure of the Diablo Canyon plant. But so is Germany. So is Japan. Why is this happening around the world, and what is your outlook on nuclear’s future?

Griffith: If you take the six biggest countries by land area—Russia, Canada, the U.S., China, Brazil, Australia—only one of those countries could provide all of its energy with solar and wind using less than 1 percent of its land area. That would be Australia, because it’s giant and has so few people. But if you tried to give everybody in China an American lifestyle, fully electrified with renewables, you’d need 10 percent of the land covered with wind turbines and solar cells. In America, you’d need about 2 percent of the land. My view is that any country that needs more than 1 percent of its land dedicated to renewables has to keep nuclear on the table. People have to realize that they can’t have Western lifestyles without nuclear power in a country as dense as Switzerland.

Thompson: We need nuclear power. It’s safe. So why are we so afraid of it?

Griffith: Not everybody is so afraid of it. On my last two trips before COVID, I went to Kenya and Dubai to speak to the energy ministers. They’re buying nuclear-power plants from Russia, Korea, and China. And the U.S. wasn’t always so afraid. In 1972, there were predictions that America would be using about five times as much energy as we use today and half of it would come from nuclear. America was going to go nuclear in a big way until Three Mile Island. I blame [Ronald] Reagan. I blame Hollywood. I blame NIMBYism and an obsession with home values in America. I blame the media too. I just moved back to Australia and it’s really amazing what it’s like to be away from the American-media ecosystem. It’s hard to put into words.

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