KUOW Program Archive
Is Nuclear the New Green Power?
With virtually no greenhouse gas emissions (A major nuclear industry lie), nuclear reactors are touted by some as part of the solution to global warming. (Let's see some studies on Nuclear Energies Thermal Discharge contributions to Global Warming.) Over the next 15 months, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects a tidal wave of permit applications for up to 28 new reactors. Some leading environmentalists, including James Lovelock, the founder of the Gaia idea, support the idea of nuclear energy as a solution to global warming. (Curious, does James also support child murder? How many birth defects have been caused by the effluents from nuclear reactors?) Is nuclear energy really clean energy? Does the threat of global warming overshadow the threat of nuclear waste? The nuclear industry gets about $9 billion a year in federal subsidies (Best up that figure significantly), trailing only oil and coal in federal energy aid. How are new nukes different from old nukes? (The public in host communities have far fewer protections due to greatly reduced Safety Margins.) Do you think public money should go into building them?
Also, astronomers are trying to measure light pollution by asking you to look at the constellations. We'll find out how that works.
Thomas Cochran is senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
John Holdren is Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at Harvard University.
Dennis Ward is an astronomer with University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.