Attempting to transition away from fossil fuels to an “all renewable” energy system is fraught with cost and reliability challenges. Germany is running into substantial challenges and is burned 5% more lignite – brown coal – in 2012 than it did in 2011. Recently completed studies that including a range of scenarios in Australia and California indicate the magnitude of the challenge of trying to do without both nuclear energy and fossil fuel.
Not surprisingly, we agreed that future energy systems that include a large dose of nuclear energy are more achievable and will also result in increasing human creative capabilities rather than restricting our development potential.
Additional topics included the recent final shutdown of the Kewaunee nuclear power station, nuclear tourism, growing interest in Small Modular Reactors (SMR) around the world, including Australia, and the positive responses that Robert Stone is getting at college campuses as he holds screenings for Pandora’s Promise. That well-received documentary that tells the story of people who have made a personal journey from nuclear opposition to nuclear energy support will be released in theaters around the US (and perhaps the rest of the world) in June 2013.
Guests on this episode of the Atomic Show:
Gwyneth Cravens, author of Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy
Ben Heard, director of Think Climate Consulting and a principal author of Zero Carbon Options
Margaret Harding, principal at 4 Factor Consulting
Steve Aplin, who blogs at Canadian Energy Issues
Paul Lorenzini, who was the CEO at NuScale Power from 2008-2012