The new Biden Administration has a full plate. Here are the science, technology, and health policies it should prioritize.
At one point, nuclear power provided 25% of Germany's electricity. But the fallout from Chernobyl, both political and real, led to a moratorium on construction and an initial planned phaseout of all nuclear reactors by 2022. That deadline subsequently was extended to 2032, but after the events at Fukushima in Japan, the phaseout policy deadline reverted back to two years from now. Today, Germany gets 11% of its electricity from nuclear sources. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research measures the fallout.
Here's what we have this time: How to fund the scientific enterprise ... Our complicated relationship with nuclear power ... Ways to read and enjoy more ... and an overlooked environmental consequence to legalizing marijuana.
When it comes to energy and climate policy, there's little rationality to be found. Those who believe that climate change is an existential threat often reject nuclear power in favor of wind and solar, despite those options being insufficient to power the planet. That said, to embrace nuclear energy, we also must have a realistic solution to the problem of waste.
Despite a claim made by Congresswoman Susie Lee, Yucca Mountain is not a threat to Nevadans' health. Grandstanding and fearmongering by politicians is why America has an energy policy that's completely backward.
Ships could be floated to developing countries which often lack the capital for large construction projects. And they could simply plug a ship into their power grid, buying electricity like any consumer.
Instead of treating our energy policy like salad toppings at a buffet, let's just go full steam ahead on the one thing that could meet all of the world's energy needs right now: Nuclear power.
The perfect energy solution is really quite simple. Implementing it only requires political will and scientifically savvy voters. Unfortunately, both are in short supply.
An op-ed in Forbes.com by James Conca notes the benefits of nuclear power in helping to ameliorate, to some extent, the disastrous drought now gripping California (and to a lesser extent, Oregon and Washington). Specifically, he notes the nuclear reactor at Diablo