I just ran across @Greens4Nuclear. And I gotta say, I'm conflicted.

Nuclear energy is touted as a panacea: it doesn't produce much in the way of greenhouse gases, it can produce high volumes of electricity, and it's priced competitively.
But. There's always a but.

I grew up during the Cold War. Nuclear energy was equated with nuclear weapons.

We don't talk about them much anymore, but massive weapons that can instantly end a city still scare me.

With international tensions ramping up, it's worrying.
I realize that creating a nuclear weapon is different from than creating power, but it's a good international status symbol.

I don't know a lot about it, but I'm under the impression the most recent crop of nuclear powers developed weapons in tandem with power.
And then there's the waste. Again, I'm under the impression that the current crop of reactors produce a tiny amount of waste that needs to be stored for centuries. Maybe newer reactors produce less? But I assume they still produce some. Nobody wants it, so where will it go?
But that waste has me thinking of dirty bombs. They aren't a mass murder machine like nukes, but they're still a thing, I guess.

They seem sort of Rube Goldberg, but still. It's a class of weapon I don't want to exist. As opposed to nukes, which I REALLY don't want to exist.
Let's not stop with the lifecycle issues though.

I think nuclear fuel needs to be mined. Resource extraction is environmentally expensive, and can screw over whoever lives on top of the resource.

But most stuff we make is mined, so I guess it's no worse than anything else.
Then there's peak uranium.

If nuclear fuel needs to be mined, then there's a finite amount of it. I've seen 80 years of supply mentioned, but Wikipedia says we have 200.

That's at current usage. If we ramp up nuclear, won't it run out faster?

I also wonder about diversification. AFAIU, nuclear plants are big and expensive. Plonk some in a province, SimCity style, and the population and industries are ready to go.

Isn't that a single point of failure? If the plant or grid fails near it, it's a huge outage.
Diversification is important from a Green perspective. Many smaller producers improve resiliency (I think).

And many smaller producers will create more jobs, and foster innovation.

This may be wishful thinking, since our economy rewards consolidation.
Speaking of Green philosophy: one of the ideas that attracted me to the party is living within our means.

We use a shit-tonne of electricity. Plentiful nuclear power seems like a way of saying "don't change your behaviour, keep driving everywhere and making disposable crap!"
But climate change makes that moot. We've advocated lower consumption for decades, but haven't succeeded. Canadians use a little less per capita, but there are more of us. Womp womp.

If nuclear gives us a way to drive everywhere without climate change, that's success.
I said Canadians in my last tweet.

Globally there are more and more people who need electricity. If nuclear can provide them with power and jobs without exacerbating climate change, that's another success.
So this is where I'm at:

I'm Green because we have a bunch of systemic problems: a privileged rich overclass, cities that make us unhealthy, an unjust economic system, etc.

I think the Green philosophy of decentralization and personal responsibility can solve those.

But, climate change has given humanity a deadline. We should have started lowering our GHG emissions decades ago.

If nuclear can lower our emissions significantly, that gives us time to deal with our other issues.

I think it makes sense to explore nuclear power.
You can follow @ehues.
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