Nuclear Power: Fading Away or Powering Up?

Richard K. Lester, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Here & Now” program on Monday, July 8.  In this 15-minute segment, Lester gives his views on what’s happening in nuclear energy now in the United States and worldwide. Are we at the end of nuclear power? Or at the beginning?

Take a listen below or hit ‘play’ at WBUR (also host to a lively comment thread):

From the Here & Now website:

After the disaster in the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, many nations shelved their plans for increasing nuclear power generation. But with growing concerns about global warming, some nations are now giving nuclear a second look.

One of the largest construction projects in the U.S. is just outside Augusta, Georgia. Two giant nuclear power plants are being built at a cost of about $14 billion. Those two reactors are going up at the same time that two nuclear power stations in Southern California are being shut down permanently.

So what’s going on with nuclear energy? Richard Lester, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, says the answer isn’t clear. However, “without an expanded commitment to nuclear energy, our chances of avoiding some of the most serious consequences of climate change are going to be much reduced,” he said.

Thanks to WBUR and Here & Now

vogtle crane sep 2012

One thought on “Nuclear Power: Fading Away or Powering Up?

  1. James Greenidge

    The title question is kind of crazy if you had a piece of chalk and a blackboard and tallied up the total worldwide fatalities/injuries – property damage/environmental impact incurred by all energy type powerplants over 60 years time since nukes have been around, free of speculation, theories, nightmare-ulations and FUD-wurst, just the plain facts and record, ma’m. You come up with a number that says IT’S NUTS NOT TO GO Nuclear! That SO many have been brainwashed to dismiss such real-life bedrock numbers and prefer to eat fossil pollution instead of a clean source speaks volumes how effective the antis and their fellow-feeling media have been at wielding ignorance and fear, and the total ineptness of nuclear education programs. My answer to this article is you know nuclear is truly alive in the U.S. is when we approach the number of plants we would’ve had hadn’t TMI occurred. Now when does SERIOUS public nuclear education begin?

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

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