Jeff Jacoby – Encouraging Words About the Coming Nuclear Renaissance
The Boston Globe has a tightly written opinion piece by Jeff Jacoby titled The Coming Nuclear Renaissance. Here is a small sample from that article to encourage you to go and read it.
The problems with nuclear energy have not vanished. To build a nuclear plant is an expensive undertaking, the disposal of spent fuel rods remains politically contentious, and at least some environmental activists will continue to do what they can to exacerbate fear of nuclear power’s dangers.
But 30 years after Three Mile Island, the nuclear future looks brighter than it has in a long time. Right now, 104 commercial reactors generate 20 percent of America’s electricity. As the war against the atom continues to wind down, expect to see those numbers go up.
Jeff may be a bit optimistic with that last sentence; there is little indication that the war against the atom is winding down. What I see that is encouraging, however, is a growing assertiveness by the people who favor the intelligent application of atomic fission to fighting some of the world’s most challenging obstacles to continued prosperity.
American democracy and prosperity have been built on an adversarial system with many checks and balances. The slow growth of atomic fission over the past thirty years has been caused more by a lack of support than by the effectiveness of the opposition.
As nukes we do have to figure out how to keep our costs under control and how to deliver our products on time. We also have to continue communicating with people so that they have the information that they need to make informed decisions. Part of that communication effort HAS to involve careful listening so that we account for the very real concerns like those associated with building very large industrial facilities in places that like their rural character.
We live in interesting times and need to continue working hard to make a positive impact.