New Movie Claims Nuclear Power is now Clean and Safe…
Robert Stone, a documentary filmmaker who directed “Pandora’s Promise,” about the environmental case for nuclear power, argues that atomic energy’s time is coming. Averting climate change is likely to require much less eco-friendly sources of power. This includes natural gas, of course, which emits about half the carbon dioxide of coal. But over the long term it is likely to require much more investment in a big bugaboo of the environmental movement: nuclear power. EDUARDO PORTER, NY Times Business section
But Mark Bittman writes in an opinion in the NY Times:
There is a new discussion about nuclear energy, prompted by well-founded concerns about carbon emissions and fueled by a pro-nuclear documentary called “Pandora’s Promise.” Add a statement by James E. Hansen — who famously sounded the alarm on climate change — and, of course, industry propaganda, and presto: We Love Nukes.
Before we all become pro-nuclear greens, however, you’ve got to ask three questions: Is nuclear power safe and clean? Is it economical? And are there better alternatives?
No, no and yes. So let’s not swap the pending environmental disaster of climate change for another that may be equally risky.
And what are the risks? Like coal, nuclear power has severe environmental impacts from soup to nuts. The West, including Oregon, is scattered with abandoned and uncleaned uranium mines that send radioactive dust into the air and into the water. Construction of plants require huge amounts of energy and materials. Then, there still is no plan in place for safely disposing of all the waste that’s been generated to date much less if we make more. Then there is the fact that no nuclear plant has been built or operated without huge subsidies–far from being free or “too cheap to meter,” nuclear energy is a bad deal all around.