Sunday, 5 September 2010

Nuclear Power: The Debate

I have to admit; I am afraid of nuclear power! As you can tell from my blog I am somewhat of an environmentalist, therefore my energy of choice would be one of the renewables (wind, solar or hydro). Yes, yes, yes I am aware that there are issues around collecting and distributing these forms of energy, but I would much rather further R&D be focused around improving this than throwing our efforts into an energy that produces damaging waste which we have very little knowledge of the impact it can cause!

The reason I am rambling about this topic is because I have recently had minor debates with both my brothers who appear to be pro-nuclear power. I'm totally for people having their own opinions (sort of), but I must admit that I was frustrated when one of them said: 'well, we need energy from somewhere'. Grrrr.

Nevertheless my other brother informed me that little waste is produced in relation to the amount of energy produced. Which does make the idea of nuclear power easier to swallow......I guess.

Following on from our conversations, I was reading a book about biomimetics yesterday that touched upon the 'disastrous' technologies of the twentieth century. Would you believe it, the book mentioned nuclear power:

'...nuclear energy has both concentrated and spread radioactivity and virtually indestructable toxic waste into living systems worldwide. It's a kind of technological terrorism that will haunt life on earth for tens of thousands of year to come.(xv)'

As much as I shouldn't have, I smiled upon reading this short paragraph. I took great pleasure in texting the statement to my brothers (regardless if one of them is on honeymoon!). I quickly received replies where one of them profoundly writes: 'There are always two sides to every story.'

Undoubtedly this is true, but I felt I had achieved some sort of victory.

P.S The book I was reading was Nature's Operating Insructions: The True Biotechnologies, Edited by Kenny Ausubel with J.P Harpignies (2004).