“Nuclear power could be one option for reducing carbon emissions. At present, however, this is unlikely: nuclear power faces stagnation and decline.” — M.I.T.

Our Sources Of Energy

The Nuclear Option

In the world’s debate over how to produce electricity without generating massive quantities of greenhouse gas pollution, there is a radioactive white elephant in the middle of the room: nuclear power. Nuclear power, once expected to provide virtually unlimited supplies of low-cost electricity, has been an energy source in crisis for the last 30 years.

Two problems are primarily responsible for blocking the once hoped-for expansion of nuclear power.

First, the driving force that has converted once vibrant nuclear dreams into debilitating nightmares for electric utilities has been the grossly unacceptable economics of the present generation of reactors. Second is the deep concern about nuclear weapons proliferation.