We have a climate disaster on our hands, caused by emitting carbon into the atmosphere. You would think that we would be in favor of replacing energy from carbon with carbon-free energy. Nope. Instead, nuclear illiteracy has prevented a realistic approach to energy production for decades.

Consider this: An average nuclear plant requires 27 tons of fuel per year. An equivalent coal plant requires 1.5 million tons of fuel per year. If we’d replaced one coal plant per year since 1980 (less than one per state), we would have reduced coal consumption by 57 million tons per year in 2018, with a cumulative savings of 1.1 billion tons.

How about ships? A medium-sized container ship burns 140 tons of carbon fuel per day; a nuclear-powered Navy vessel, none.

Unless we wake up immediately and promote building and improving nuclear power, we will suffer the consequences. Of course, wind, solar, tidal, hydro and geothermal energy must also be developed aggressively, but not in place of the real power available with nuclear energy.

Had we begun in 1980, we might be there now. We’d also be decades ahead on nuclear technology, electric vehicles and other electric alternatives. It is not too late yet, but it may be soon.

George Lawson


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