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Mark Jacobson to James Hansen: Nukes Are Not Needed to Solve World’s Climate Crisis via EcoWatch

[Editor’s note: On Dec. 29, former NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen wrote a piece on advancing nuclear energy to help address climate change and air pollution. The article below, by Stanford professor Mark Jacobson, provides a response to Hansen’s comments.]

Comment 1 by Dr. James Hansen:

The urgency of expanding clean energy implies that nuclear power, presently the largest source of carbon-free energy and historically the clean-energy source of fastest scale-up, likely must play an important role in meeting needs for dispatchable electric power, carbon-neutral fuels and fresh water.

Summary Response:

Nuclear is an opportunity cost relative to clean, renewable wind, water and solar energy because of

a. the significant lag time between planning and operation of a nuclear plant relative to a wind, solar, or geothermal plant;

b. higher carbon emissions of nuclear per unit energy; and

c. nuclear weapons proliferation risks, meltdown risks, waste disposal risks, and uranium mining risks. As such, the only basis for nuclear growth is if 100% wind, water and solar is not possible. However, because the technical feasibility of 100% wind, water and solar across 139 countries and 50 states has been shown to be possible, evidence suggests at this time that a solution can be obtained without nuclear.

Read more.
◇ Mark Jacobson: Barriers to 100% Clean Energy are Social and Political, Not Technical or Economic

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