Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nuclear power

Yesterday when Tim and I visited the beach at the campground, I saw a nuclear tower off in the distance, on the edge of Lake Ontario. As I mentioned in my Berwick entry, the sight of nuclear towers and their plumes distress me at a gut level. Of course, they can be rejected at an intellectual and scientific level as well.

Here's what Chris Williams writes in his article Hothouse Earth: Capitalism, climate change and the fate of humanity, in the March-April 2009 issue of International Socialist Review:

Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous. Nuclear power stations only emerge as cost competitive with fossil-fuel power stations or alternative energy sources when government subsidies and the huge decommissioning costs are not included as part of the cost of building and running them.

Williams' critique of nuclear power concludes that nuclear power plants are expensive, "wildly inefficient and extremely dangerous,"The fact that the plants double up as atomic bomb factories is what attracts the US and other countries to nuclear power, "not its environmental benefits."

This is the second part of a two-part article by Chris Williams available at Powerful reading.


Anonymous said...

The "plume" of a US nuke plant is water vapor, and only water vapor. The plants are dangerous, to be sure, but the towers are inert.

Howie G said...

Nuclear power is beautiful and wonderful. A 1 gigawatt nuclear plant is on a small plot of land compared to 100s of miles of solar panels, so ugly.

By being part of the anti-nuke movement, despite nukes not being "carbon emitters" you have identified yourself as a modern day fascist. And yes I read the NYT article. If they like you, you know you're not very good. Try going to and getting some real ideas. With the economy crashing, you don't have long to get straight.