A good point by Ken Caldeira on how people think about nuclear energy

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A rather good point is made by Ken Caldeira, who is quoted in a recent Forbes piece on nuclear energy.

Caldeira makes the following observation,

“When renewables are expensive, people want to find ways to bring costs down, [but] when nuclear is expensive, people see cost as a reason to reject the technology,”

Nuclear energy is “too expensive” in the eyes of many. Yet, the same people don’t reject a single source of renewable energy that is demonstrably more expensive than nuclear energy. The asymmetry is stark.

However, I would go further than Caldeira. I would rephrase it thus,

When renewables are expensive, people want to find ways to bring costs down. But when it comes to nuclear, the same people reject the technology because of it being expensive, and only seek ways to make nuclear more expensive.

Cost of course is not the reason nuclear energy is rejected by environmentalists. Fear of radiation is. Debates over the economics of renewables versus nuclear are merely exercises in special pleading. The real debate is over how much we should fear nuclear meltdowns. Without that debate, talk of economics is a smokescreen.

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One thought on “A good point by Ken Caldeira on how people think about nuclear energy

    Geothermal | The Actinide Age said:
    June 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    […] most expensive technologies, it is spared this vocal criticism and exclusion. Indeed, as recently summarised, this is a form of special pleading which has little if anything to do with their true (and even […]

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