Argument: Nuclear is only clean energy source that can replace fossil fuels

Issue Report: Nuclear energy


“The future is green, the future is nuclear.” Times Online. October 4, 2009: “Professor David MacKay, the government’s chief scientific adviser on climate change, has said what many people have long believed. You cannot meet Britain’s future energy needs and reduced carbon emissions without a big expansion of nuclear power. […] As we report today, he believes we should aim to be producing four times the amount of electricity from nuclear as now. Alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and wavepower will never provide more than a fraction of the country’s energy needs. Relying on gas, coal and oil, with an increasing proportion imported, does not square with Britain’s international climate commitments.”

Patrick Moore. “Going Nuclear. A Green Makes the Case.” Washington Post. April 16, 2006: “In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That’s the conviction that inspired Greenpeace’s first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions — or nearly 10 percent of global emissions — of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power. And these days it can do so safely.”