Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chestnuts Roasting Over a Mushroom Cloud

I've made a reversal of opinion, recently. I am now all for a major expansion of nuclear power. I originally had worries about the waste, as most people do, but I'm now of the mind that the waste is a small and manageable price to pay for the benefits of nuclear power. I also think that the chance of a nuclear meltdown is so small as to be without concern.

Think about it. No other form of power generation is as efficient, results in as little waste, and can meet our needs. Obviously, forty years down the line, the threat of meltdown might be real, but we simply need to fit that into our regulations. Our government is pretty incompetent, but I would think that the threat of nuclear winter would be enough impetus for them to draft a quality bill.

Moreover, our overall power infrastructure is in dire need of repair, and we may as well integrate that into an overarching redesign of our entire power system. But if we could involve the nuclear companies, and give them the green light to build as many plants as they want as long as they help pay for the required overhaul of the transmission lines, the viability of the plan becomes undeniable.

I'm not saying that other forms of power should be ignored. I love wind power and solar, but they both have serious cost considerations and are intermittent. Tidal and geothermal are excellent sources of continual power, but their reach is limited to those near the water or thermal vents. For those there, excellent. For those not, what, tough shit?

Coal and natural gas power is untenable. Coal sucks in every way it can suck, and natural gas, while cleaner, still pollutes and is a limited resource. Nuclear power combined with wind, solar, and tidal is basically limitless.

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