Fri July 9, 2010
Dr. Glenn Kuswa, who has worked on nuclear power issues for more than 30 years, joins host Stephen Spitz as we explore whether the increased use of nuclear power should be part of our response to climate change.
The Gulf oil spill is a graphic reminder that the human and environmental costs of drilling for oil and mining for coal are not in the competitive mix. Last month we looked at green energy, specifically wind and solar, which will likely meet only a small fraction of our energy needs for the foreseeable future. In consequence, President Obama has proposed that nuclear power play an increasing role if we are to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
However, the problems with nuclear power are many and include: a) substantial amounts of fossil fuel must be expended to produce nuclear energy b) the cost of new nuclear power plants has risen dramatically and could render the resulting electricity too costly c) NIMBY (not in my back yard) means that it is nearly impossible to site a nuclear plant anywhere in the US and d) Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and other "near misses" raise real questions about the safety of nuclear power.