In the February 8, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine, there is a story titled Another Nuclear Dawn in which the author, Fred Guterl repeats an often used, but erroneously thought out statement. He said “Environmentalists, who used to be the natural enemies of nuclear power, are now busy beating their drums over climate change.”
It has never made sense to me why people believe that people that care about the environment are natural enemies of nuclear power. When compared to burning coal, oil or natural gas, nuclear fission is clean – clean enough to run inside a submarine.
Though many current members would be shocked to hear this, the Sierra Club was originally quite a fan of nuclear energy and supported its early development as a way to reduce air pollution.
There might be plenty of people that claim to be environmentalists that fight nuclear power, but they are not natural enemies and their opposition is based on something other than a concern for pollution.
The real natural enemies of nuclear fission are the people that make their living from the fossil fuel industry. These are not limited to those that directly sell fossil fuel, but includes people that transport, finance, tax and enable its use by building the equipment needed.
There are plenty of politically powerful, currently rich enemies that can claim some small credit for tying down the slumbering nuclear giant. I just hope that they realize that the atomic Gulliver is stirring and will soon throw off their Lilliputian threads.