Nuclear Fantasy, Foreign Policy, Kumi Naidoo (Executive Director, Greenpeace International), Jan. 2, 2012:
For a source of electricity that contributes to about 3 percent of global energy consumption, we are having an awfully big debate. [...]
Even before the Fukushima meltdown, industry plans to double nuclear power capacity were in the realm of fantasy. Doubling current capacity would require a multibillion-dollar nuclear plant to come on stream every week for two decades. That’s a far cry from the few reactors that become operational worldwide each year. Such a construction boom would only cut global carbon dioxide emissions by 3 to 4 percent.
Building a nuclear power plant currently takes more than a decade from inception to completion, rendering such plants irrelevant in stopping CO2 emission growth during this decade, a prerequisite for keeping global warming below catastrophic levels.
Contrast that with two or three years for a wind farm or less than a year for solar panels. Wind power already provides more affordable power than nuclear power plants, and the costs for solar panels are coming down faster than anyone could predict. [...]
Read the full piece here
Published: January 3rd, 2012 at 2:17 pm ET