Friday, June 12, 2009

In Favor of Nuclear Power

Scott Aaronson rants:
Why are no new reactors being built in the US, even while their value as stabilization wedges becomes increasingly hard to ignore? Why are we unwilling to reprocess spent fuel rods like France does? Why do people pin their hopes on the remote prospect of controlled fusion, ignoring the controlled fission we’ve had for half a century? Why, like some horror-movie character unwilling to confront an evil from the past, have we decided that a major technology possibly crucial to the planet’s survival must remain a museum piece, part of civilization’s past and not its future? Of course, these are rhetorical questions. While you can be exposed to more radiation flying cross-country than working at a nuclear reactor for months, while preventing a Chernobyl is as easy as using shielding and leaving on the emergency cooling system, human nature is often a more powerful force than physics.
There is a correlation between understanding the science involved in nuclear reactors and believing that more of them should be used, and Scott is yet another data point. Abre los ojos.