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...for the large-scale mitigation of greenhouse gases that are being emitted on a catastrophic scale?

In the real world, wind and solar, admirable as they are, account for less than 1% of our global energy.  The most ambitious goals for wind as stated by realistic proponents indicate that if all goes optimally we can  hope to receive 20% of our power from wind by mid-century.  That's a lot, and let's do it. But that leaves 80%. Without nuclear power, most of that percentage will come from fossil fuel combustion.

Without nuclear power we cannot avoid greenhouse gases on a large scale and still meet present and future electricity demand, even with a great deal of conservation.

There are 440 nuclear power reactors worldwide, and in 12,000 reactor years there has only been one serious accident.  That took place at the worst-run, worst-designed, party-hack-operated reactor in the old Soviet Union.  The dispersal of contamination would not  have occurred in other countries, like the US, Japan, western Europe, etc., because the reactors must always be in containment buildings with thick concrete and steel walls.  Chernobyl had no containment building.  It's the stupidest thing imaginable.  But then I would not drive a Soviet-made car or fly in a Soviet-made airliner either.

Unlike the fossil fuel industry, nuclear power has to contain and shield and isolate its waste, which is small in volume.

Vermonters should be praised for getting so much of their electricity from two emissions-free sources, nuclear (which Gov. Howard Dean found safe) and hydro.   And I would bet that Vermonters are better at conservation than most people.  Even if they like to have wood fires.

by Plan9 on Thu Aug 31st, 2006 at 10:11:36 AM EST
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