The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power

Today, my Sunday long-reading list included New Yorker’s The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow. Can nuclear power possibly be a viable solution for climate change? Twenty or even ten years ago, my answer would have been a big fat No. Today? Not so sure anymore.

Today, the looming disruptions of climate change have altered the risk calculus around nuclear energy. James Hansen, the NASA scientist credited with first bringing global warming to public attention, in 1988, has long advocated a vast expansion of nuclear power to replace fossil fuels. Even some environmental groups that have reservations about nuclear energy […] have recognized that abruptly closing existing reactors would lead to a spike in emissions.

I am surprised that the author, who clearly researched the topic well, did not mention Bill Gates’ Mini-Reactors approach to the problem. It might have been a deliberate choice, as at some point, she does note that “scientists are working on smaller, more nimble nuclear reactors.”

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