Argument: Energy efficiency is more important than nuclear power

Issue Report: Nuclear energy


  • Mark Hertsgaard. “The True Costs of Nuclear Power”. Mother Earth News. April/May 2006 – “The upshot is that nuclear power is seven times less cost-effective at displacing carbon than the cheapest, fastest alternative better energy efficiency, according to studies by the Rocky Mountain Institute. For example, a nuclear power plant typically costs at least $2 billion, or up to $5 billion with overruns. That money could be spent to insulate drafty buildings, purchase hybrid cars or install superefficient light bulbs and clothes dryers. Such an investment would lead to seven times less carbon consumption than if that money were spent on a nuclear power plant. In short, energy efficiency offers a much bigger bang for the buck. In a world of limited capital, investing in nuclear power will divert money away from cheaper and faster responses to global warming, thus slowing the worlds withdrawal from carbon fuels at a time when speed is essential.”