Ask McKibben Anything: What About Nuclear Energy?

In October, Bill spoke to Marlene Spoerri of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs about his views on nuclear power:

I don’t foresee, especially post-Fukushima, a kind of political system in most of the world that would let it happen. Even before Fukushima, it wasn’t happening. The reason basically had to do with cost. Environmentalists helped shut down nuclear power, but really it was Wall Street that pulled the plug on it. It’s too expensive. It’s like burning $20 bills to generate electricity. It requires, if you’re going to do it, massive government subsidy. If you’re going to apply that subsidy, you’re better off doing it with other things that will generate more kilowatt hours per buck.

Now, that said, we should keep trying to figure out if there are some ways to do it that are more acceptable than the ones we’ve got now. You read about developments on the fringes, Thorium reactors and so on and so forth. But my guess is that in the timeframe we’ve got this is not going to be the place we go.

Bill’s previous videos are here, here, herehere, here, here, herehere, and here.