Originally posted 11 Sept 2006:
If you consider ALL the costs of nuclear, then it is actually very expensive. Mining uranium is dangerous. Refining uranium is expensive and very high tech (this is why the energy companies like it, maybe -- so they can still be the ones in control?), and the waste products are difficult to transport safely, and the storage of the spent fuel rods and plutonium is an "expense" that we can hardly begin to imagine!
Not only are we put at risk of terrorists getting hold of the radioactive material, but the stuff is extremely poisonous, and very radioactive -- and it will remain so for a period of time that is at least 5X the time of recorded human history!!
Gimme a break -- it is anything BUT cheap. Besides, do you know what a nuclear power plant is? It is simply a big tea kettle! That's right -- we boil water with the heat produced and then we generate electricity with the steam...sheesh.
Why not use concentrated solar to collect the heat of the sun? I'll bet that we can figure out a way to store the energy (as heat, or as pressure) so we could continue to generate electricity over night and through cloudy days? We humans are quite ingenious, and this seems to be a pretty simple sort of problem.
With a fraction of the effort and cost of making a nuclear bomb, or getting humans to the moon or Mars, or just a week's budget for the fiasco in Iraq, or the pipeline in Alaska, or drilling a 27,000 foot deep oil well, or extracting oil from the shale/sands in Canada -- we could make the solar equivalent of the Hoover dam to get out energy direct from the only safe nuclear fusion reactor I know about: the Sun!