The new head of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation makes an increasingly familiar argument – that nuclear power is a viable option for generating energy in the face of greenhouse-induced climate change: “If one believes the European Union projections . . . nuclear power will come back as the world starts moving towards carbon taxes. In Europe the feeling against burning coal is pretty strong.” You don’t hear that much here in the U.S., but it obviously resonates in places where attitudes toward greenhouse stuff are more solidified.
There haven’t been any new nuclear reactors in the US for decades. When people hear “nuclear”, they think Chernobyl, Three Mile Island. The truth is that modern nuclear reactors, the sort that are being built in Europe, are orders of magnitude safer than the most recent nuclear reactor built in the US.
Solar and wind power simply aren’t economically viable, water power destroys river habitats, and coal pollutes. The best solution is nuclear power, but “not in my backyard” is still the prevailing sentiment throughout the country.