[ RadSafe ] Article: The Nuclear Option -- expansion of nuclear power could contribute significantly to staving off climate change

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 24 06:46:34 CDT 2006

This is a long article.  I have posted the first few
paragraphs, and the rest can be found at

Scientific American.com
August 21, 2006   
The Nuclear Option   
A threefold expansion of nuclear power could
contribute significantly to staving off climate change
by avoiding one billion to two billion tons of carbon
emissions annually   
By John M. Deutch and Ernest J. Moniz    
Nuclear power supplies a sixth of the world's
electricity. Along with hydropower (which supplies
slightly more than a sixth), it is the major source of
"carbon-free" energy today. The technology suffered
growing pains, seared into the public's mind by the
Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents, but plants
have demonstrated remarkable reliability and
efficiency recently. The world's ample supply of
uranium could fuel a much larger fleet of reactors
than exists today throughout their 40- to 50-year life

With growing worries about global warming and the
associated likelihood that greenhouse gas emissions
will be regulated in some fashion, it is not
surprising that governments and power providers in the
U.S. and elsewhere are increasingly considering
building a substantial number of additional nuclear
power plants. The fossil-fuel alternatives have their
drawbacks. Natural gas is attractive in a
carbon-constrained world because it has lower carbon
content relative to other fossil fuels and because
advanced power plants have low capital costs. But the
cost of the electricity produced is very sensitive to
natural gas prices, which have become much higher and
more volatile in recent years. In contrast, coal
prices are relatively low and stable, but coal is the
most carbon-intensive source of electricity. The
capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide, which
will add significantly to the cost, must be
demonstrated and introduced on a large scale if
coal-powered electricity is to expand significantly
without emitting unacceptable quantities of carbon
into the atmosphere. These concerns raise doubts about
new investments in gas- or coal-powered plants. 

. . .

>From an article about physicians doing clinical studies: 

"It was just before an early morning meeting, and I was really trying to get to the bagels, but I couldn't help overhearing a conversation between one of my statistical colleagues and a surgeon.

Statistician: "Oh, so you have already calculated the P value?"

Surgeon: "Yes, I used multinomial logistic regression."

Statistician: "Really? How did you come up with that?"

Surgeon: "Well, I tried each analysis on the SPSS drop-down menus, and that was the one that gave the smallest P value"."

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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