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View Diary: Climate Change Reality: The Stakes in Copenhagen and Washington (91 comments)

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  •  The lesson to learn from nuclear power (3+ / 0-)
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    RunawayRose, elwior, polar bear

    There is only one reason nuclear power is even in a position to be in the conversation--huge subsidies and a focused political will when these industries were first beginning.  Almost all R&D for nuclear was financed by the government.  Our politicians, businessmen, and engineers engaged in a huge push for peaceful uses of nuclear, perhaps in part out of guilt over Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  There was much lying and much hiding of true costs.  The economics of nuclear would have been prohibitive without government spending making it happen.

    I suggest that the lesson to be learned from nuclear energy is what can be done with political will and a willingness to subsidize a technology in the early stages. And now nuclear can claim to be competitive.  Virtually every alternative energy source is an order of magnitude more affordable than nuclear energy was at the beginning.  Nuclear energy demonstrates how much more competitive they would be after another decade of strong commitment to them.

    FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

    by geomoo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:48:37 AM PST

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    •  self-fullfilling prophecies.. (0+ / 0-)

      The political beating (mostly from the left) that nuclear power has taken over the last thirty years is the reason it takes so long to build a nuclear plan and why it is so expensive.

      If nuclear opponents would have just STFU and let them get built, we wouldn't be in the place we are at now as far as CO2 and all the millions of tons of waste from coal leaching into our environment.

      But no.. we will got probably get more decades of haranguing and obfuscation while nuclear remains the only real source of baseload energy that can get us cleaned up quickly.  It's available now and doesn't require an entire restructuring of the country's transmission grids.

      I have a question for you.. what do we do here in Chicago where there is not enough sun for solar and wind will not ever likely be enough (or at least for many decades?)  And what backup power do you suggest we use when we do get wind and that isn't producing much power?  Shall we just turn off the heat and die?  No.. without nuclear we would have to keep dirty coal plants running at some base level because of the variability of wind and solar.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM PST

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      •  Simplistic in the extreme. (1+ / 0-)
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        There are well-reasoned and well-supported arguments in favor of nuclear power being an essential part of our energy future.  Environmentalists should just STFU is not one of them.  No one with any sense is arguing that there are not environmental dangers associated with nuclear power, and no one of integrity with an even passing familiarity of the industry's track record would believe that they should just be left alone and trusted to keep us all safe.

        I was trained in nuclear power.  I've told my stories elsewhere.  This comment, which doesn't even respond to my main point, adds nothing to the conversation.

        I repeat, nuclear was heavily subsidized in its initial stages.  If we did the same thing for alternate sources instead of whining about environmentalists, we would see them reach much more competitive levels of economic viability than they now enjoy.

        FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

        by geomoo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:05:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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