Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Nuclear Miscalculation

The White House’s January proposal for a new nuclear power station makes more sense in the light of the talk this week about decommissioning another part of the United States’ nuclear weapons. The nuclear materials taken from the weapons would be sufficient to launch one nuclear power station and fuel it for many years.

Yet I still fear this is a miscalculation. There is not enough uranium in the United States to fuel the nuclear power stations that already exist for their expected service lives, and the situation in Europe is worse. Eventually, the world will likely be forced to decommission all its nuclear weapons, but even this will buy us only a few more years of electricity.

It is better in the long run to save whatever nuclear materials we can find for the existing nuclear power stations, and to begin building now the power sources that will supply us after the world’s uranium is exhausted.