After my post about the “Atomic Anne” editorial, I realized that Roger Cohen maintains a blog titled Roger Cohen: Passages that accepts comments on his op-ed pieces. Here is my comment on his blog titled The clean air of France:
Roger – you are correct to point out that France is less conflicted about its use of atomic fission than the US is. America, however, has the potential to regain its position as a leading supplier of nuclear power technology.
Though France generates a much larger portion of its power using fission, the 104 nuclear power plants operating in the US produce about 60% more energy each year than the 59 reactors in France.
Though the US has not built a commercial reactor in a very long time, there is a lot of long lead time work in progress for the next generation and there are innovative ideas and concepts that show great promise of extending fission beyond the limited market for central station power plants.
I am referring in particular to the Hyperion Power Generation project and the Adams Atomic Engine project.
There is certainly still a lot of debate and concern. The energy market is a very large business with plenty of competition that will fight for slices of market share.
Many competitors do not like the huge advantages that nuclear technology brings to the table; it is difficult for wind, solar, oil, coal, and gas suppliers to compete fairly with a power source that has the characteristics described by Gwyneth Cravens. Like disadvantaged competitors in many businesses, the alternative energy and fossil pushers often resort to spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about atomic energy.
It is amazing that finding plans mentioning atomic power plants in the hands of terrorist groups is enough to cause Greenpeace’s Mr. Ricco to call for a halt of nuclear power plant construction. At the same time frequent actual attacks against oil and gas pipelines in Iraq, Nigeria, and other nations do not result in calls to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure.
Sometimes I wonder if donations from people with interests in oil, coal, gas, biofuels, wind and solar clouds Greenpeace’s actions and positions.