The nuclear power industry received a springtime Christmas present this week.
The world’s authoritative climate science group Sunday threw its arms around nuclear energy, among others, as a future source for powering economies. The industry’s share of global electricity generation has been falling since 1993.
The report, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emboldens proponents of nuclear energy, who tend to talk it up no matter what the issue is at hand.
We cannot afford to ignore the risks of man-made atmospheric pollution. Fortunately, production and consumption of natural gas is increasing rapidly, and it is the cleanest of fossil fuels. Solar energy is leading the renewables, becoming much more efficient and flexible than wind power, in addition to its compatibility with populated regions.
New nuclear is the most productive clean source of power, although plants are currently expensive to build. Understandably, they are unpopular because nuclear accidents, even if rare, are massively destructive. Additionally, there is no known solution to the problem of nuclear waste.
Nevertheless, the world needs nuclear energy and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made a sensible contribution to the debate. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will be among the first leaders to take note.Back to top