“Renewable” Energy: Nuclear Fission Power
“Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world’s main energy source can prevent it from overwhelming civilization.” - James Lovelock Summary: Nuclear fission power is currently part of our world’s en ergy mix, and it’s enough unlike the other kinds to be worth a section of its own. It provides about 11% of the world’s electricity, and closer to 20% of the electricity in the United States, which makes it about 4% of total energy used in the USA. 197 Fission power has downsides all its own, but one significant upside: it is far lower in “carbon intensity” – CO 2 emissions – than other methods of providing relatively stable baseload power. For this reason, many are calling for it to be greatly expanded, including the highly respected climate scientist James Hansen and other environmentally concerned people who consider it the “least worst” option in the face of genuinely scary CO 2 trends. Yet such a buildout is not happening. Fission plants are being constructed at roughly the pace old ones are being decommissioned. What’s the story here?
Powered by FlippingBook