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Tuesday
Dec162014

Why climate change is forcing some environmentalists to back nuclear power

It's no secret that there has long been suspicion, on the political left, about nuclear power. Research has often shown that liberals, more than conservatives, distrust or oppose nuclear energy, even though many of the more dramatic claims about nuclear risks appear to be exaggerated.

It's no secret that there has long been suspicion, on the political left, about nuclear power. Research has often shown that liberals, more than conservatives, distrust or oppose nuclear energy, even though many of the more dramatic claims about nuclear risks appear to be exaggerated.

That's why a new letter, signed by 71 ecologists and conservation researchers (at last count), may be so significant. Authored by ecologists Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania and Corey J.A. Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide -- and based on a longer paper by the two just out in the journal Conservation Biology -- it argues that greens must rethink their nuclear power resistance. That's especially the case, the letter says, when it comes to "advanced nuclear power systems with complete fuel recycling" -- a technology intended to help minimize one of the chief problems with nuclear power (the waste). (For a technical paper from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the prospects for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, see here.)

That's why a new letter, signed by 71 ecologists and conservation researchers (at last count), may be so significant. Authored by ecologists Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania and Corey J.A. Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide -- and based on a longer paper by the two just out in the journal Conservation Biology -- it argues that greens must rethink their nuclear power resistance. That's especially the case, the letter says, when it comes to "advanced nuclear power systems with complete fuel recycling" -- a technology intended to help minimize one of the chief problems with nuclear power (the waste). (For a technical paper from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the prospects for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, see here.)

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