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.