How do we move forward when everyone else is looking to the past. Sure, nuclear produces a lot of power with a great deal of concentrated waste and mining, milling, and refining sites that have to be permanently cordoned off from the public. Can we re-use the waste, only if we don't care about plutonium stockpile management, the high cost of fuel development, and unproven reactor designs that promise us nothing but a non-competitive, subsidized, uninsurable, highly regulated, and highly indebted version of our energy future. Competition, costs, convenience, private equity, insurability, and sustainability have the central values motivating our future energy choices. Nuclear promises us nothing, other than a very big bill, a big kettle of boiling water, waste and contamination for 3,000 generations, and a great deal of uninsurable risk shared by taxpayers, governments, and local landowners … and bailing out the industry every time they get into trouble.
A pretty good slideshow of folks looking backwards at their own careers, stuck in the false promise of concentrated power and energy abundance and waste "too cheap to meter," dinosaurs of the environmental movement and computer age, and some in dire need of rescue from outdated notions and conventional approaches to creative, modern, and ever changing contemporary challenges. Thankfully, it's going to be costs, convenience, finance and sustainability that will rule the day, and not an inflexible power source that is impossible to finance, has catastrophic failure states, is highly polluting, and occupies an increasingly narrow niche in our energy system (limited to baseload applications). Sure, there are obsolete designs that operate on a cost effective basis and produce a huge amount of waste that nobody knows what do do with … or we can have "faith" in the industry, and that they will engineer their way to the next big leap safely, and on a competitive basis with more affordable, scalable, sustainable, and subsidy free alternatives. How many more Fukushimas before the industry gets it right, and how many more inadequate designs on fault zones, flood plains, and in the hands of rogue states before we get the regulatory structure correct. "Learning by doing" and "nuclear power" should never be associated with each other.