NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE NUCLEAR OPTION

August 10, 2006

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says that the problem of high energy prices is due to environmentalists and others who oppose developing more and new energy sources, including increased drilling, coal to liquid technology and nuclear energy.

Echoing part of Barbour's call, the National Center for Policy Analysis has released a report detailing how nuclear power holds the most promise as a clean, practical alternative to fossil fuels, and is already satisfying part of the world economy's growing demand for energy:

  • Nuclear power provides about 75 percent of the electricity in France and 20 percent in the United States.
  • With 434 operating reactors worldwide, nuclear power meets the electrical needs of more than a billion people.
  • China alone is planning to build 30 nuclear reactors over the next five years.

The report also notes that nuclear power has advantages over fossil fuels:

  • A single, quarter-ounce pellet of uranium generates as much energy as 3.5 barrels of oil, 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, or 1,780 pounds of coal, with none of the CO2 emissions.
  • If the United States recycled spent fuel, and the more than 15,000 plutonium pits removed from dismantled nuclear weapons, existing supplies would provide an almost unlimited amount of nuclear fuel.

Source: Editorial, "Report Blames White House Inaction for High Gas Prices," Consumer Affairs, August 9, 2006

 

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