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February 18, 2005



Maybe they'll try to force us all to have one. Oh, you cute little nuke, you.


Schwartz and Reiss also seem to ignore the huge startup capital costs to build nuclear plants. The marginal costs of producing nuclear energy is no longer that attractive when startup costs levelized into the marginal costs. I agree that we can be hopeful about nuclear as we learn to address its shortcomings, but right now, the shortcomings are many and serious. Nuclear is not the answer just this yet.


The thing that gets me about nuclear advocates is that they are always claiming that some new technology, such as pebble bed reactors, will jump in and prevent all the problems with nuclear power. Maybe it will, but they are totally deaf to the fact that serious advances are being made in solar, and that a major technology will be available next year for $1/watt. And that there are some good storage options that are ready for use now that can overcome the major problems of renewables: intermittant coverage.

The other major problem with nuclear is the long lead time of plants. It can easily take 10 years or more for them to be installed. Solar can be designed in a few months and installed in a day. Storage can be added to the grid as the need arises.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it felt good to get that out ;)

Mikhail Capone

The question we must ask about any energy source we plan to massively invest in is: "Is it sustainable?"

Otherwise, we'll just get back to where we are now; short-term thinking is what got us in this mess in the first place.

Sure maybe Nukes could make things better for 50-75-etc more years, but what after that? What about when our "modern" centrals start to get old and dangerous, what about when we need lots and lots of Uranium and many countries fight over it? etc.

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