Goin' Newkewlar

Global warming only becomes an issue to some if it involves pitting those silly misdirected environmentalists against the clean and friendly nuclear industry. Today's example, Roger Cohen:
It’s time to look to the French. They’ve got their heads in the right place, with nuclear power enjoying a 70 percent approval rating. The Germans, by contrast, have gone silly-Green and are shunning nuclear power. The British, more smart-Green, are reviving their plants.

I know, that word “nuclear” still sends a frisson. Images multiply of Hiroshima and Chernobyl and the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 and waste in dangerous perpetuity, not to mention proliferation and dirty bombs.

But the lesson of the post-9/11 world is that we have to get over our fears, especially irrational ones.
Which is a slightly more eloquent way of setting up a straw man than Michael Reagan's the other day:
We can’t exploit nuclear power or drill for oil in ANWR or the Gulf because Democratic members of congress have been bought and paid for by the most dangerous terrorists in America, the radical environmentalists.

They make the Taliban and al Qaeda look like Mother Teresa’s nuns. They have wreaked such havoc here in the U.S. with their terrorist tactics that the president of the United States is reduced to begging for oil, a plentiful domestic resource but, thanks to them, off-limits to the American people.

We need a surge here at home to deal with these terrorists. With the Capitol Hill Democrats, they are the American people’s deadliest enemies.
Public perception about the nuclear issue is currently its killer. These days it's out of the hands of us eco-whackos intent on destroying 'Merican capitalism--many of us are long resigned to tentatively endorsing increased nuclear to offset decreased coal power generation. But if we are to have a greater share of our electricity come from nuclear power plants, arguments must be made for a mix of renewables and nuclear and against coal. Cohen:
Of course, wind and solar power should be developed, but even by mid-century they will satisfy only a fraction of U.S. energy needs, however much those needs are cut. Hundreds of square miles of eyesore wind farms barely produce the electricity you get from a nuclear plant on less than a square mile.
Wind farms are eyesores, and nuclear plants are thirsty. A country with as much dry, windswept land, as we have is foolish to not also develop more wind than other countries like France, which has little land and lots of cooling ocean surrounding it. The problem with the "windfarms are wimpy compared to the awesome power of nukes" argument is that it gets used by the coal industry to make us think we need to choose between wimpy and hot if we leave "clean" coal behind. Cohen:
Where Riccio has a point is that wild cost overruns on several nuclear power plants and on the planned Yucca Mountain Repository in Nevada for radioactive waste, which will cost some $30 billion to open, have suggested there may be better ways to spend money on energy diversification and saving.

But again the French, with the cleanest air in the industrialized world, have an answer. Their standardized design, expedited approval process, and improving technology (evident in the third-generation Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor) offer streamlined routes to cost-saving. They have also drastically reduced waste by reprocessing most of it into fuel, a long-term answer to the disposal issue.
French diesel engines are clean? Presumbly this refers to France meeting its Kyoto targets, a feat the think tankers told us could never be done! What's equally as important as pointing out that nuclear is clean is that this is a relative measurement when compared to coal, which when you mine it you lose large swaths of land and when you burn it, your sushi becomes a health hazard.