Critics Blast Climate Scientists Going To Bat for Nuclear Power

From Common Dreams:

If these people think nuclear energy is part of a viable solution, they ‘should go to Fukushima’

Jon Queally

Amidst the ongoing Fukushima disaster in Japan and the broader failure of nuclear power, a call by some scientists and others for environmentalists and green groups to embrace the energy source in the name of fighting climate change is being met with a firm rebuke.

Ahead of CNN’s airing this week of what critics have described as a misleading and propaganda-laced pro-nuclear film called “Pandora’s Promise,” four climate scientists on Sunday released a letter of their own calling on “those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power” to change their position.


Though unaffiliated with the controversial film, the pro-nuke letter was signed by James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia. In the letter, the scientists ask individuals and groups concerned about global warming and climate change to demonstrate their commitment to the threat “by calling for the development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy.”


Unconvinced, however, many environmentalists voiced deep concerns about the pro-nuclear pitch and responded with derision, if not disgust.


“These guys need to go to Fukushima,” said long-time anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman in an email to Common Dreams on Sunday. “It’s astonishing anyone could advocate MORE nukes while there are 1331 hot fuel rods 100 feet in the air over Unit Four, three melted cores at points unknown, millions of gallons of contaminated water pouring into the oceans, and so much more.”


Wasserman, editor of and author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, has recently been sounding the alarm over the perilous situation that remains ongoing at the crippled Fukushima plant in Japan and argues that nuclear should not be part of any future energy equation. Invoking the dangers of carbon-driven global warming does nothing to change the inherent dangers of nuclear power, he indicated.

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2 Responses to “Critics Blast Climate Scientists Going To Bat for Nuclear Power”

  1. dysviz Says:

    Not all nuclear technology is as reckless as the Fukushima plant design!
    Molten Salt Reactors running on thorium, are designed to shut down automatically and also consume spent fuel rods from those dumb old plutonium reactors, that the military forced on the public, while a perfectly safe MSR reactor was forced to shut down, all for the sake of producing H bomb ingredients like plutonium!
    seriously, this amrican MSR technology is now being used in China, and they will refine it and own all the intellectual property rights, while the rest of us is stuck with dinosaurs like Fukushima…

    • Suzan Says:

      I understand James Hansen’s arguments for nuclear plants. I can appreciate how small plants in isolated areas would be safe and believe that private industry should be allowed to look for investors to put up the money to buy such plants. But the public should not be required to buy electricity from them nor should the public be taxed in any way to build those plants, operate them or deal with any emergencies that might occur with those plants. The total burden of any costs occurring from such plants should fall completely on the private sector that built them.

      At the same time I believe in public investment in cleaner processes for producing electricity such as solar and wind as well as the compensation of of those individuals who have solar panels and wind turbines that contribute back into the grid during daylight hours of peak consumption in the form of meters that run both ways (i.e. power in to the residence or property and power out).

      Time to end public subsidies of dead end industries.

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