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Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:54 AM

The Tantalizing Nuclear Mirage

It took seven months on the campaign trail for Cory Booker to emerge as the Democratic Party’s foremost champion of nuclear power. In September, after he unveiled a signature climate plan replete with “$20 billion dedicated to research, development and demonstration of next-generation advanced nuclear energy,” he embraced the technology with unprecedented ardor. “I didn’t come to the United States Senate as a big nuclear guy,” Booker told Grist in an interview. “But when I started looking at the urgency of climate change … nuclear has to be a part of the blend.”

To hear Booker tell it, his evolution on the subject was the product of scientific rigor and anti-ideological clarity on decarbonization. He related this narrative during a media blitz, comparing anti-nuclear Democrats to Republican climate deniers over their rejection of an incontrovertible science, while pledging to usher in a nuclear future that no right-minded person could deny. “Where the science is going, to me, at first sounded like science fiction … new nuclear actually portends of exciting things where you have no risk of the kinds of meltdowns we’re seeing,” he proclaimed at CNN’s climate town hall.

Grandiosity aside, Booker isn’t alone in his nuclear embrace. He’s part of an unlikely pro-nuclear political alliance, an emergent accord that spans the centrist think tank Third Way, Andrew Yang, Jay Inslee, environmental activists, and progressive commentators alike. “The left should stop worrying and learn to love existing nuclear power plants,” wrote New York’s Eric Levitz in a subsequent send-up of Bernie Sanders’s and Elizabeth Warren’s twin commitments to phase out the technology.

In a world where the rapid deployment of zero-carbon energy production is urgent, nuclear power, the argument goes, represents the only proven bet. As it stands, nuclear is currently the largest single source of near-zero-carbon energy generation in the United States, providing 20 percent of our total energy mix. And while the waste may be dangerous, and the risks associated with meltdowns cinematically seared into our collective memory, the technology is actually safer than burning fossil fuels—one study found that per unit of electricity generated, oil is 263 times more deadly than nuclear, on account of air pollution alone. With 11 years, per the U.N.’s 2018 IPCC report, to overhaul our energy system, to be serious about decarbonization is to find a place at the table for nuclear.

Read more: https://prospect.org/greennewdeal/the-tantalizing-nuclear-mirage/
(American Prospect)

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TexasTowelie Dec 2019 OP
Hermit-The-Prog Dec 2019 #1
3Hotdogs Dec 2019 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Dec 6, 2019, 03:04 AM

1. yep. it's a mirage. can't build 'em overnight; can't fuel 'em cleanly.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 6, 2019, 07:56 AM

2. But at least, Nevada is willing to take the nuclear wast ---- What?

They don't want it in their backyard?

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