Doctors Ken Caldeira (Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution), Kerry Emanuel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), James Hansen (Columbia University Earth Institute), and Tom Wigley (University of East Anglia and the National Center for Atmospheric Research) sent their letter on the topic to a variety of organizations and journalists. Passages have now been published everywhere from The New York Times and CNN (both full text) to The Washington Post and The Weather Channel. The four argue that nuclear power isn’t perfect, but it’s the best solution given the constraints they see—the speed to scale, the need for effective waste removal, and, of course, the cost.
In discussing the risks a link to another post is identified in which the argument is made that the plant was damaged by the tsunami. The paper fails to acknowledge that there was significant damage to the reactor caused by the earthquake. The paper also says that the problem at Fukushima is a Japanese one, because of the tight connection between the regulators and the nuclear industry. The authors also fail to discuss that the “nuclear culture” in Japan is entirely exported from the US. The article says that there should be vents to prevent explosions; the NRC in this country is taking into consideration the use of vents. Finally, it says that solar power cannot be developed. If solar power had the multi-trillion dollar support that the nuclear industry has had, then solar would be much more developed. Nuclear power concentrates its political power into the big corporations, whereas solar power allows anyone to get into the power business.
- Scientists: nuclear power can prevent use of “the atmosphere as a waste dump” (arstechnica.com)
- Dot Earth Blog: ‘To Those Influencing Environmental Policy But Opposed to Nuclear Power’ (dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Top climate scientists draw a line in the sand on nuclear (decarbonisesa.com)
- Top climate change scientists issue open letter to policy influencers (cnn.com)