At least two large organizations that claim to be dedicated to a mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions have demonstrated that they are still in the denial mode when it comes to the use of atomic fission as one of several ways to attack the problem.
You can find story by Brita Belli about Greenpeace’s recent release of a study titled Energy Revolution: A Blueprint for Solving Global Warming at COMMENTARY: Greenpeace Proposes an Energy Revolution on emagazine.com. SACE (Southeastern Alliance for Clean Energy) has a position page on nuclear power at SASE Programs: Nuclear.
Neither group acknowledges the fact that wind and solar power together – after many decades of talk, subsidized construction, and devoted research – produce well under 1% of the electrical power in the United States. They refuse to acknowledge that there are serious environmental concerns associated with both of those favored technologies – both of them require massive quantities of treeless spaces, they remove energy from the natural environment (with some effect on local weather patterns), and they require a substantial input of concrete, steel, copper, and high tech materials that are produced in an energy intensive manner.
What really gets me is their ability to unhesitatingly advocate a program to supply the electrical grid with such unreliable and diffuse power sources while still implying that there will be enough excess electricity supplied to allow people to plug in their semi electric (hybrid) vehicles each night for a charge.
Each of the groups seems to talk from the same sheet of talking points – among other unsupportable assertions they make the ludicrous claim that nuclear power plants release hazardous amounts of radioactive material on a routine basis. As a former engineer officer of a nuclear powered submarine that operated for months at a time sealed up underwater, I can tell you that there are no such routine emissions. We would have noticed if our plant had exposed us to any atmospheric contamination at all – believe it or not, we monitored our air pretty carefully!
They also claim that it takes 10 years to build a new nuclear plant, and state that is just too slow to have any effect. The implication is that they can build windmills and solar power systems faster, an assertion that is disputed by the fact that decades worth of building has yet to produce enough windmills and solar panels to even move the needle with regard to their electrical power production market share. In contrast, when the US was building nuclear plants, it only took about 20 years to build enough to supply 20% of our electrical power.
I know that most of you think that there is no hope of changing the positions taken by these groups – and others like them – but we are doomed to failure if we do not try. Make every effort you can to contact the groups and let them know how you feel about their continuing illogical position regarding nuclear fission in a world whose very survival may be threatened by continued burning of increasingly massive quantities of fossil fuel.group.