Back in the 1950s, the world looked set to chart a course to a low carbon clean energy future, through the deployment of nuclear power. But humanity turned back from the future by curtailing nuclear expansion, and that one decision, above all others in living memory, almost certainly precipitated the climate crisis we now face.
This episode, And Now for Nuclear, covers the reasons why many of us continue to oppose nuclear energy, despite the fact that it is the only energy source that is both clean and reliable, and can be deployed at large, strategic scale.
Podcast host Rolake Ojo is joined by Gridlocked creators Mark Havenner and Nick O’Hara who, through a mixture of narration and discussion, introduce listeners to some of the key issues when considering the matter of nuclear energy.
In this episode we hear more from Joshua Goldstein, who co-wrote the film Nuclear Nowwith legendary director Oliver Stone.
The show explains how nuclear energy works, and covers key considerations including safety, waste, cost and efficiency of nuclear energy.
These matters are expertly presented by contributors to previous episodes of Gridlocked, includingKerry Emanuel, Jacopo Buongiorno and Kristin Zaitz. We also hear for the first time from Charlyne Smith, senior energy analyst at The Breakthrough Institute.
Making an appearance once again is the planet’s leading living architect, Lord Norman Foster, who talks about nuclear energy’s safety record compared to those of other energy sources, together with nuclear waste. Foster argues that, “The big advantage of nuclear is the fact that the waste is tiny, and it’s controllable.” He goes on to say, “to separate facts from prejudice, the potential for clean energy is staring us in the face. We don’t need to cover the planet with solar panels.”
Humanity’s future hangs in the balance, and much depends on the energy technologies we decide to prioritize in facing a climate emergency against the backdrop of increasing global demand for energy. So, why have we been overlooking nuclear?