Doubts About Nuclear Energy as a "Middle Way" in the Global Warming Debate
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
As I've noted, in places like Canada and Europe, nuclear energy has been successfully reframed as an important "middle way" compromise solution in the debate over what to do about global warming. Now a report out today from the Oxford Research Group casts doubt on the potential of nuclear. From Reuters:
The surge in political popularity of nuclear power as a quick-fix, zero-carbon solution to global warming is misguided and potentially highly dangerous, a group of academics and scientists said on Monday. In its report "Secure energy, civil nuclear power, security and global warming", the Oxford Research Group said there was not enough uranium available and nuclear nations would therefore tend to opt for reprocessing spent fuel to obtain plutonium. "A multiplication of reprocessing and the resulting international trade in weapons-useable materials would create more opportunities for states, criminal organisations or terrorists to acquire weapons-useable materials," it said.
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