August 2, 2013
Nuclear Power's New Friends?
When the issue of global warming first starting gaining public mindshare, around 2000, I was, I'm ashamed to say, a bit gleeful. As a devotee of nuclear power, this looked to be an added impetus to get the construction of new nuclear power plants underway. After all, I was in the business of designing new plants, and it's a lot more fun (and rewarding) to be in a growing business than it is to be in a stagnant or shrinking one. With that insight -- that carbon reduction was good for my career -- I decided to become a well-informed advocate for CO2 restrictions. The place to start was the then-current (2001) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The executive summary seemed like a rousing call to action, but, persnickety engineer that I am, I read the whole of the technical appendices, too. My main takeaway was that any atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration change from fossil fuels would be swamped by a multitude of other variables outside our...(Read Full Article)