So it turns out that Monbiot, who has for a long time been an opponent of nuclear power in the UK, has done some kind of a turnaround and is now saying that it is not so bad after all.
The real subtext of all this seems to be that it's considered the "least of the evils" - although this seems ridiculous to me. Truth be told, I think the world has an energy crisis.... peak oil, and all of the "nice' alternatives - hydro, solar, wind, whatever, all seem to have flaws.
But the real problem with nuclear is what it leaves behind for the future. The USA does not have a long term waste disposal solution. At all. They do not have it figured out. It was going to be Yucca mountain, but that has been shelved. All the waste is stored on site at the various plants.
Great. Can we really assume that the world is going to have a stable civilization for thousands of years, until this stuff has decayed enough to be safe? Of course we can't. If there's some kind of collapse, maybe in 500 years time (empires come and go), then what? A toxic legacy that will one day leak out into the world.
They all post the same graphs showing how coal is so much worse... but they haven't factored in the fact that the waste is going to be around for hundreds or thousands of years, and there is no perfect solution. There's nowhere to put it, apart from 'dig a big hole'. I dread to think that in a few thousand years time, the world's water supply will be contaminated and guess what, it will be the fault of this greedy, narrow minded century.
It's been a strange day. I feel like ranting about all this but on other levels of life things are fine. It's weird. A fine day but with these distant shadows we can't ignore.