Intelligent Energy

Nuclear's back. Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is!

Nuclear's back. Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is!

Posting in Energy

The future of the nuclear industry is in the eye of the beholder. Leading opinion shapers sound off on opposite sides. A tale of two nuclears.

Here on SmartPlanet, I've been opining that nuclear power does indeed have a future, and that it should reside in alternative, safer technologies like thorium that could replace the conventional uranium reactors that create dangerous, long lived waste and that pose meltdown threats.

Today, I'm taking a look at what a couple of leading opinion shapers are saying about nuclear's outlook in a post-Fukushima world. The two scenarios could not be more different. I'm going to give you only the headlines from two separate, respected publications, because they say it all about the spectrum of nuclear perception (click on the links for  the more detailed arguments).

From Bloomberg, March 25: Nuclear Industry says Back on Track After Fukushima 'Speed Bump.' Contrast that reportage to the title of an opinion piece from The Economist earlier this month: The dream that failed: A year after Fukushima, the future of nuclear power is not bright - for reasons of cost as much as safety.

For those of you familiar with the comedic stage tradition of British pantomime (no, not "mime" and Marcel Marceau as many Americans mistakenly think whenever they first hear about pantomime), the current nuclear split evokes the catchphrase, "Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is!"

Or, on a more literary tack, it seems that a year after the Fukushima meltdowns, the debate has intensified more than ever into a tale of two nuclears.

To return to my opening point, and as you'll note through some of the links below, I believe the world can shift toward a safer nuclear future by departing from conventional uranium-fueled, water cooled reactors. Instead it should dust off some long-ago proven but never deployed technologies, like thorium molten salt reactors.

What do you think?

Photo: Cameron Russell via Flickr (that's not me/mh).

A tale of THREE nuclears - and more - on SmartPlanet:

And elsewhere:

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure