Saturday, April 05, 2008

Will Gore "Shut the Nuke Power Loophole?"

Harvey Wasserman's latest:
Today Al Gore is unveiling a massive campaign to fight climate chaos.

But the hugely funded atomic power industry has jumped on global warming with the Big Lie that its failed reactors can somehow help. It's a sorry replay of the 1950s promise that atomic power would be "too cheap to meter."

Just before the 2000 election, as senior advisor to the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, I wrote then-Vice President Gore asking that he help delete from the Kyoto Accords any reference to nukes as a possible solution to global warming. On November 3, 2000 (the letter is posted at the web site) Gore wrote back:

"Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding nuclear energy and the Kyoto Protocol. Let me restate for you my long held policy with regard to nuclear energy. I do not support any increased reliance on nuclear energy. Moreover, I have disagreed with those who would classify nuclear energy as clean or renewable. In fact, you will note that the electricity restructuring legislation proposed by the [Clinton] Administration specifically excluded both nuclear and large scale hydro-energy, and instead promoted increased investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is my view that climate change policies should do the same."

Nukes were soon deleted from the Kyoto Accords as a "solution" to global warming.
Has anything changed in the last eight years?

Let's see what Al Gore himself has to say about it:
Toward the end of the meeting at Kleiner's offices with Ausra, the solar thermal company, one of the executives starts to boast that the plants Ausra is building will thrash nuclear, geothermal, clean coal, and photovoltaic solar solutions. Gore cuts in, a mildly alarmed look on his face. "You know, all of these technologies are going to play a role," he says. "I hate to see you assassinate the competition as a key messaging point."
If that's any indication, Wasserman isn't likely to get his wish. On the other hand, I'm doubtful that Gore will really come out for nuclear power. Which is a shame, since it's becoming more apparent every day that when it comes to global warming, anti-nuclear fundamentalists are part of the problem, not the solution.

Besides, we have our own champion- Sir David King. His scientific credentials are impeccable, and he's made a difference where it really counts. The last few years have seen a real sea change in the fortunes of nuclear power. While I hope that Gore will see the light and join King in endorsing new nuclear builds, I don't think that Al Gore can single-handedly stop the nuclear renaissance, even in the United States.


DV8 2XL said...

With friends like Gore the nuclear industry needs no enemies. This guy could have done so much for the fast adoption of nuclear if he hadn't drunk the 'renewable' Kool-ade, and this latest escapade will do nothing to help the larger issues.

Brian said...

Agreed. Gore was part of an administration that for eight years watched the US power industry build fossil fuel plant after fossil fuel plant (to burn natural gas). Thanks to the policies of Clinton/Gore and cheap gas prices in the nineties, the US has more natural gas capacity than coal and nuclear combined. (Yet we still get almost 50% of our electricity from coal, something that did not just happen when Bush took office.) As far as the future of nuclear energy is concerned, Gore is irrelevant, as well he should be.

He's not an energy expert; he's not a scientist; he's not even a politician anymore. He's just a pop celebrity these days, and we should pay the same amount of attention to him as we do to the "No Nukes" washed-up celebrity singers of Wasserman's.

djysrv said...

While Al Gore was VP he populated the Department of Energy with anti-nuclear activists and zero'd out nuclear energy R&D funding.

The situation is somewhat improved today, but Idaho's Next Generation Nuclear Plant R&D program is still coming up short of cash.