A Letter to the Guardian from the excellent Gerry Wolff:
Contrary to what Jeffrey Sachs says (“Nuclear power is only solution to climate change, says Jeffrey Sachs”, 3 May), nuclear power is a hindrance, not a help, in the fight against climate change. It diverts attention, effort, and large amounts of money away from renewables and the conservation of energy, where those resources would be more effectively spent.
There is abundant evidence from reputable sources that, in general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power stations, they are cheaper than nuclear power (taking account of all subsidies), they provide greater security in energy supplies than nuclear power, they are substantially more effective in cutting emissions of CO2, there are more than enough to meet our needs now and for the foreseeable future, they provide diversity in energy supplies, and they are largely free of the several problems with nuclear power.
Evidence in support of these assertions may be found on www.energyfair.org.uk/oppcost, and via links from there.
Around the world, the average annual growth of wind power in recent years has been more than 27% (bit.ly/A5fWmx) and the annual growth in solar power has been about 30% (bit.ly/zFs1W1). In 2010, the worldwide growth of solar power was an impressive 70% (reut.rs/wWhSoi). Meanwhile, the number of operational nuclear plants in the world is shrinking.
Dr Gerry Wolff PhD CEng