The Limited Appeal of Nuclear Energy: Scientific American
The Limited Appeal of Nuclear Energy
To developing nations, the new arguments for nuclear power are far from compelling
By JOSE GOLDEMBERG and Jose Goldemberg
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Image: COURTESY OF JOSE GOLDEMBERG
After 20 years of stagnaion, nuclear energy again finds favor in the eyes of many energy planners. In contrast with electricity generated from coal or natural gas, nuclear power contributes little to greenhouse gas emissions and could therefore help in the effort to reduce global warming. The establishment of a tax on carbon emissions, which has been widely proposed as an incentive to move away from fossil-fuel use, would make nuclear energy even more attractive. Such arguments may ultimately prove compelling to industrial nationsâ€”but to assume that the developing nations will follow suit is to ignore some important realities.