Atomic Show #215 – Armond Cohen, CATF, describes need for nuclear

Armond Cohen is the Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force. We spoke in January 2008 on episode #78 of the Atomic Show. At that time, Armond and his organization did not take a position on nuclear energy.

On March 28 of this year, I heard Armond give a talk at the commemoration of 35 years since the Three Mile Island accident. During that talk Cohen clearly stated that his organization had carefully evaluated all available options and scenarios and had come to the conclusion that nuclear energy would play an important role in any successful effort to decarbonise the global energy supply system.

CATF acknowledges that there are also important roles for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and, possibly, carbon capture and storage, but without help from nuclear energy, efforts were not going to succeed.

He agreed to my request for an interview. We spoke on June 5, 2014.

Just in case you have not heard of the Clean Air Task Force, here is a quote from their page titled “What Others Are Saying About CATF.”

Sue Tierney, Managing Principal, Analysis Group, Inc., Boston

Among the many nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing atmospheric pollution, the Clean Air Task Force distinguishes itself by navigating the complex terrain with technically rich analyses, intellectually rigorous assessments, and compelling and brave arguments. CATF is willing to dig deep for answers on cutting edge issues, and then address policy issues from factually grounded positions. It is a precious resource with impact significantly larger than its small size.

Play

Existing nuclear plants are valuable and worth saving

Many currently operating nuclear plants are in danger of being permanently shut down due to temporary conditions including low, but volatile natural gas prices, improperly designed markets that fail to recognize the value of reliable generating capacity, quotas and mandates that result in certain types of electrical generators receiving direct monetary payments in addition to […]

Read more »

Open letter to antinuclear groups claiming to be “environmental”

Dr. Alexander Cannara is an environmental activist who has been writing letters to antinuclear groups. He gave me permission to republish one of his missives here. The views expressed are his, but they deserve to reach a larger audience. By Dr. Alexander Cannara Date: 19 Sept. 2013 Subject: An open letter to groups I’ll no […]

Read more »

Alvin Weinberg’s liquid fuel reactors

Figure 6. Senators John Kennedy and Al Gore Sr flank Alvin Weinberg on a visit to ORNL

A nuclear pioneer’s work on safer, cheaper, inexhaustible nuclear power is still inspiring nuclear environmentalists. by Robert Hargraves Physicist Alvin Weinberg worked on the Manhattan Project and later co-invented the pressurized water nuclear reactor. As Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory he led development of liquid fuel reactors, including walk-away-safe liquid fluoride thorium reactors with […]

Read more »

Professional antinuclear greens resist; greens concerned about climate change embrace

Fissures related to nuclear energy are developing in the monolithic movement known as Environmentalism. The Breakthrough Institute has published a good introduction to the schism titled The Great Green Meltdown: How Economic Arguments Against Nuclear Highlight Environmentalist Delusions. Though this is a simplification, it is generally accurate to describe two sides of the movement that […]

Read more »

Jane Velez-Mitchell expresses shock as she interviews Robert Stone about Pandora’s Promise

Jane Velez-Mitchell concludes this segment by saying: “If you ever thought you knew anything about nuclear power plants, think again.” She then extolls the CNN audience to tune in and watch Pandora’s Promise.

Read more »

Robert Stone talks with Michael Moore at the Traverse City Film Festival

During the summer of 2013, Robert Stone, the director of Pandora’s Promise, was invited to show his documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival. Michael Moore, one of the most famous and financially successful documentary film makers in America, is the founder and president of the festival. After the showing, the two directors chatted about […]

Read more »

Pandora’s Promise disrupts assumptions about nuclear energy

If Robert Stone’s primary purpose in creating Pandora’s Promise was to generate discussion about nuclear energy, it appears that he has succeeded. If his underlying purpose was to generate heated and uncomfortable reactions from people who have invested their entire career identity into being a go-to person for a negative comment about nuclear energy for […]

Read more »

Pandora’s Promise Review Roundup

Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise has been capturing attention and encouraging people to challenge their personal beliefs and tribal assumptions. Stone’s documentary is a classic “journey of discovery” tale featuring five people who changed their minds about nuclear energy from opposition to support. It takes viewers along the path of knowledge discovery followed by Gwyneth Cravens, […]

Read more »

Green Nuclear Junk – reposted from DecarboniseSA

Ben Heard and Geoff Russell collaborated on a post for DecarboniseSA titled Green Nuclear Junk that takes careful aim at an antinuclear meme that is mostly based on a series of false assumptions that include a table of mortality figures made incorrect by dividing by 8.76 instead of multiplying by that same number. With Ben’s […]

Read more »

Mark Lynas describes anti GMO conspiracy to Cornell University

One of the primary reasons I am sharing the above video is that it has an analog in the multi-decade effort to restrict the growth of nuclear technology. Though not the topic of this talk, Mark pointed out the similarity between the anti GMO and antinuclear movements. At minute 15:30 he said: Indeed, in many […]

Read more »

Atomic Show #202 – Atomic Earth Day 2013

Many nuclear professionals have been attracted to the technology because of its inherently light footprint when compared to all other alternative power sources. It uses less land, less metal, less concrete, and a tiny volume of fuel when compared to producing a similar quantity of energy from other sources of reliable power, especially when the […]

Read more »