Renewable energy has been the talk of the town for several decades. Over the past 20 years more and more energy companies have embraced Wind turbines, solar panels, and other sources of energy that don’t involve burning oil, coal or natural gas. However, in this TED talk from Germany, he argues that renewables can’t begin to provide all the energy that we need to keep our lives comfortable. The amount of land needed and the costs to scale renewable energy is cost prohibitive. Instead, he argues that if we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, then we need to embrace Nuclear.
Our Friend the Atom
I’ve been a proponent of nuclear fuels for several years. There are some great documentaries that talk about how the oil companies used outright propaganda to make Americans scared of nuclear power so that it would not be adopted in high enough numbers to have an impact on their business. There are great examples of mass adoption of nuclear power including France and Japan. At one time, Germany also had many nuclear power plants to reduce their dependence on natural gas. Nuclear power does not add to smog and it can provide plenty of electricity from a small amount of fuel. It is the perfect solution to reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
But What About Waste?
Nuclear waste is a concern. Fourth generation reactors are unique in that they can burn the existing waste that we’ve already created which is currently sitting in New Mexico. The new reactors don’t create nearly as much waste and it can be safely stored until it is no longer dangerous which be long after everyone currently alive has long passed on.
But What About Fukushima?
This is another technical problem that has already been solved. Fukushima only melted down because they lost the water pumps that keep the reactor cool. The pumps were damaged and lost power. The reactor in question was built in the 1960s using the technology of the day. New reactors used a non-electrical mechanical process to stop the reaction in the event of water loss making a Fukushima style accident nearly impossible.
Watch this helpful TED talk to learn more about why we need mass-adoption of nuclear power.