A comprehensive editorial in today’s Los Angeles Times provides a timely deconstruction of existing arguments in favor of nuclear power. Aside from outlining the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with our atomic future, The Times cites efficiency and expansion of renewables such as wind and solar as a much better alternative in reducing emissions as well as curbing costs.
The potential for wind power alone is nearly limitless and, according to a May report by research firm Standard & Poor’s, it’s cheaper to produce than nuclear power. Further, the amount of electricity that could be generated simply by making existing non-nuclear power plants more efficient is staggering. On average, coal plants operate at 30% efficiency worldwide, but newer plants operate at 46%. If the world average could be raised to 42%, it would save the same amount of carbon as building 800 nuclear plants.