As we struggle to develop a fossil fuel free economy, many thoughtful analysts look to nuclear power and think that there may be an off-the-shelf technology we can use to prevent climate change. Given the latest pair of nuclear waste leaks, it's time to look somewhere else.
While the world seems to have overlooked the consequences of the debacle at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the fact remains that the global nuclear power industry continues to suffer from several threats unknown to more conventional power stations.
Many buildings are going without air conditioning in the hot and humid summer, launching a new business attire called Cool Biz (no jackets and ties) in Japan's traditional buttoned-down business culture.
What is less well-known is that at the root of the controversy against the construction of commercial nuclear power reactors is a handful of exceptional women, mostly "housewives" whose thankless work done at their dining room tables.
The only two U.S. reactor projects now technically under construction are on the brink of death for financial reasons. If they go under the "nuclear renaissance" will be officially buried, and the U.S. can take a definitive leap toward a green-powered future.
Nearly four decades after the Three Mile Island accident, nuclear power remains expensive, dangerous, and too radioactive for Wall Street. The industry won't grow unless the U.S. government props it up and the public bears the risks.
As we come up on the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster in Japan, we should also keep in mind reminders about the potentially grave risks inherent to nuclear facilities closer to home.
A new report concludes that many of the significant safety lapses at U.S. nuclear plants in 2011 happened because plant owners -- and often the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- either tolerated known problems or failed to address them adequately.
Despite the recent green-lighting of the first new nuclear reactors in decades, most of the industry's celebratory assertions about nuclear power's revival, its potential to "jumpstart" the economy, and its relative safety don't hold up to scrutiny.
We need a cost-efficient, low-carbon solution to the nation's increasing electricity demand. Expanding nuclear energy as part of the mix of electricity generation options is necessary to meeting our nation's growing power needs cleanly and cost-effectively.