Following the Fukushima nuclear incident in the aftermath of massive earthquake and tsunami the debate has re-open regarding nuclear power generation.  This incident is garnering 24-hour news coverage, which is remarkable considering at least 10,000 people have just died as a result of the earthquake and tsunami whereas, at the time of writing, no-one has died from the nuclear incident itself.

My own view is that nuclear fission is a tried and tested technology for power generation without carbon emissions.  In light of humanities need to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions this must be used instead of fossil fuel power plants particularly coal burning ones.

I also support the development and deployment of renewable energy generation (solar, wind, geothermal, etc) and this should be utilized wherever possible, for example, as hydro-electric generation is in British Columbia and geothermal energy is in Iceland.

The biggest danger, in my view, of widespread civil nuclear power generation would be the wider availability of enriched uranium and the increased potential of a rouge state to develop (and therefore potentially use) nuclear weapons.  Therefore, strict controls and monitoring by the worldwide community is essential.

Here are some recent thoughts of columnists who I largely agree with on the issue:

Mark Lynas for the New Statesman

George Monbiot for the Guardian (newer article here)

Julian Glover for the Guardian

Charles Ferguson for Nature

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