Email of the day on nuclear energy
Comment of the Day

August 14 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on nuclear energy

I am a pre-subscriber, but I was a little underwhelmed by the portion of today's first item, from David Brown, that I have access to.

He doesn't say who the "real expert" that he quotes on the new energy system is.    A nuclear power station is a controlled version of a nuclear bomb, thus the enormous amount of energy available. I fully concede that today's power stations are completely safe in their operation. But of course, there is the question of safe disposal of the waste, which the extract doesn't address;  and also the security required for that waste, to prevent it getting into rogue hands.

It is irritating to have statistics such as coal being 4000×, gas 100× and hydro 30× more dangerous than nuclear, without any detail as to how these figures are calculated (although that detail would require a lot more space).

Just because someone writes in such a haughty fashion doesn't necessarily make him an expert.   Top scientists usually write with courtesy, and with a degree of humility, acknowledging that they could still be wrong, since the world of atoms and nuclei may still have some surprises up its sleeve for us.

I do concede, however, that, since I do not have access to the full discussion, some of these points may have been raised there.

Many thanks Eoin, for the commentary that I do have access to.   Your commentary on extracts often clarifies points which seemed obscure, and is always full of common sense!

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for this question and if you are interested in a deeper discussion then I encourage you to subscribe. In short, the data about nuclear safety is well understood. However, the perception of safety is very different. For example, spending your life breathing in noxious fumes is much more likely to lead to health complications than living near a nuclear power plant.

This kind of statistic is akin to the fact you are more likely to be killed crossing the road than in a plane crash. The simple fact is we are less intimidated by the familiar. If we have the will to change, it will happen. The primary question is as a society do we want to talk about decarbonizing, or do we want to do something about it?

Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top