Excellent leader, depressing stories (wind and nuclear series, June 2005). The news that some environmentalists are reconsidering nuclear is alarming. They should be asked to justify their conclusions in much more detail, including their defence of the Price-Anderson Act limiting nuclear accident liability in the US. Wind energy advocates such as the American Wind Energy Association and the Union of Concerned Scientists who think there is nothing to worry about are greatly mistaken.
But who will bell the cat? I believe that renewable energy must offer a vision: intermittent renewables can power a modern industrial economy as well as nuclear. We cannot be satisfied with 20% or 50%. But storage and transmission must be openly discussed. While the public may be wary of nuclear, it is even more afraid of freezing in the dark.
Let's say for starters that funding for the 10 GW nuclear program in the UK were diverted to compressed air storage facilities. That would provide a perfect response to the pro-nuclear faction. Technically sound, environmentally friendly, economical.
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