A new documentary film by director Robert Stone makes the case for renewed development of smaller, common-component nuclear power plants to replace fossil-fueled electric power plants that produce about 90% of the world’s electric power and 50% of our greenhouse gases.
“Pandora’s Promise” is a feature-length documentary about the history and hopeful future for nuclear power. The film explores how and why one of mankind's most feared and controversial technological discoveries is now embraced by many of those who once led eco-group campaigns against it. Even some of the most rabid and militant climate enviros now seem willing to trade their half-century of nuclear fear mongering for the elimination of greenhouse gases in electric power generation via nuclear power replacements.
Western civilization continues to improve energy efficiencies with economic growth while lowering per-capita use of electric power. And, global economic growth will continue to increase demands for electric power. Yet, wind and solar renewable energies cannot provide replacements for fossil-fueled, base-load electric power. This dilemma of “energy austerity” due to renewable mandates is seen today in the European Union (EU).
A significant portion of today’s EU austerity, sovereign debt and threat of financial fragmentation is due to myopic environmental regulation during a global economic downturn – “energy austerity” by way of quixotic climate-carbon controls. The EU’s hasty adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, the 20/20/20 climate controls in 2008, and other renewable energy mandates have caused energy short falls, a return to conventional fossil-fuel power sources, as well as critical concerns over energy independence and energy security.
There are other energy austerity implications involving global energy demands and energy sovereignty. The EU’s perennial economic leader, Germany, decided to phase out the 20% of their electric power provided by nuclear plants following Japan’s 2011Fukushima nuclear disaster. No renewable energy replacements exist for the German nuclear phase outs.
Greens will, and should, compromise nuke fears for the carbon reductions of nuclear energy. Pandora’s Promise is a compelling and cohesive case for more, not less, clean and safe nuclear power.
Subscribe free to this Column by clicking the blue-highlighted "Subscribe" line next to author's photo.