Why Do We Fund Nuclear Research?

What is happening in Japan is an immense tragedy, and my heart goes out to everyone over there.  What is happening with the nuclear reactor is concerning and also one of my biggest reasons for not supporting Nuclear Energy as a green technology.

When I was in college, in engineering.  I thought nuclear power made sense.  It held such promise as a non-polluting energy source.  Of course there were issues, but the engineers could figure out a solution.

It wasn’t long after originally holding those beliefs that I decided that nuclear power was not as good as it looked.  Today I tell people that the sun is about as close as I would want a nuclear reactor to be (93 million miles away).  In the US, we haven’t brought online a nuclear reactor since 1996.  And I’m OK with that.  Yet we continue to fund research for nuclear power at very high levels. Look at the chart below. Nuclear Energy funding has dwarfed all other technologies. Today, we could easily spend that money on solar electricity directly, not just research.

Today the numbers are getting closer together and more equal.  But Solar still continues to be funded at levels lower than any other technology.  Unless we have some real solutions to the dangers of nuclear reactors (like we are seeing today) and also the danger as well as the expense of disposing of the nuclear waste.  It is unlikely that I will become a supporter of Nuclear Energy.  Definitely never as a ‘green’ technology.


About Daimon Vilppu, President Simply Efficient Solar and Wind

I can't remember when I wasn't interested in energy, machines and other mechanical equipment. This desire led me to a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Northern Arizona University, graduated BSME1993). By the time I graduated, I was dismayed at our countries myopic energy policy. I couldn't understand why we were continuing to focus on oil and nuclear energy when there were so many possibilities with alternative energy technologies that languished with no support by our Government. I have since devoted myself to learning about alternative energy technologies, with a particular focus on solar thermal technologies. With that Knowledge, and continual education, I want to engage myself with others to refine, improve and educate as many people as possible so that we all can see why alternative energy technologies have to be a vital part of our countries energy future. Without many different technologies, I strongly believe that we will never reduce or eliminate our independence on foreign countries and they will continue to have power over our economy until we do embrace the best technologies available.
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One Response to Why Do We Fund Nuclear Research?

  1. mom says:

    Right on! And, there’s the high rate of cancers for people who live near them.

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