Wednesday, July 01, 2009

 

Nuclear Power and Fossil Fuels

On a daily basis the mainstream media and nuclear power proponents bombard us with propaganda about how nuclear power can stave off global warming because it supposedly emits no carbon dioxide. Of course this is absurd, as discussed in “Nuclear power is well-disguised fossil fuel.” Nevertheless, nuclear proponents will still argue that this is a necessary and acceptable tradeoff.

But in fact, the situation is much more serious. Because fossil fuels are necessary for nuclear power, the viability of nuclear power is totally dependent on access to reasonably priced fossil fuels. Yet, net oil energy has declined precipitously over the last few decades, and that problem is going to worsen at an accelerating pace in the near future as society has to expend increasing amounts of energy just to get energy. What this will do to the price of crude (and indirectly to that of coal) is obvious. Hence, it is just a matter of time until fossil fuels become too expensive, making it impossible to build any more nuclear power plants, not to mention any other such large-scale construction projects.

And remember, the corollary to this is that the deployment of renewable energy infrastructure will also be severely crimped because fossil fuels are needed to manufacture, deploy, and maintain renewable energy infrastructure.



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