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Irrational Fears: We should think sensibly about nuclear energy’s risks

April 26, 2014

Nathan Myhrvold presents an excellent position on Nuclear Energy in the MIT Review.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526426/irrational-fears/

“There is one source of carbon-­emission-free energy that is cheap, reliable, and proven to work on a large scale: nuclear power (see “Nuclear Options”). It often gets a bad rap because of perceived safety problems. In reality, it has become a sort of litmus test for societal rationality. People have a hard time estimating some kinds of risks. For example, they fret about the safety of flying but show little concern for driving, despite statistics showing that cars kill vastly more people than planes do.”

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I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Myhrvold’s tacit acceptance of the evils of CO2 and anthropogenic climate change theory; but regardless, I do agree with his assessment of the need to develop nuclear energy as part of our future energy strategy.

Energy density is the key.  Nuclear sources, combined with natural gas, can provide energy with the reliability, dipatchability, and density required.  Solar and Wind simply cannot.

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