by Farhad Manjoo
Whenever I write about the plummeting costs and growing capabilities of wind power, solar power and batteries, I’m usually met with a barrage of radioactive responses from the internet’s overheated nuclear reactors — social-media-savvy environmental activists who insist that nuclear power should play a leading role in the world’s transition away from fossil fuels.
The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, they point out, but nuclear power plants produce carbon-free energy day and night, rain or shine. Their argument that nuclear power is unfairly maligned has been bolstered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; Germany, which shut down many of its nuclear plants in the past decade while building natural gas pipelines to Russia, now faces a deep energy crunch. It has had to burn more coal to keep the lights on.
I’m not a never-nuke, but I’ve had my doubts about atomic power. Still, I wanted to keep an open mind. So last week I flew to London to attend the World Nuclear Symposium, an annual conference put on by the nuclear industry’s global trade group, the World Nuclear Association. I heard an earful from industry executives, analysts, lobbyists and government officials who are giddy about nuclear power’s prospects for powering the world of tomorrow. … (continue at The New York Times)