Energy


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What is the energy source of the future?  As the chart shows, "green" alternatives, though attractive at first, can generate only a small fraction of the power needed (see bar graph).  We  simply cannot extract enough energy from the wind or the sun to meet baseload requirements.  As a supplement, these sources are both costly and unreliable (no wind = no power, no sun = no power).  Hydroelectric and nuclear power are the only reliable, non-polluting, and cost effective sources of large scale power.  Uranium (U) and  Plutonium (Pu) yield 3 million times more energy than the same quantity of coal (e.g., 1 gram of U or Pu = 3,000 kg of coal)!

Given the potential hazards, nuclear energy may not be our first choice; but it will likely be forced upon us by necessity as we move away from fossil fuels (assuming there is no new breakthrough in energy technology).  Rather than tilting at windmills, our time and money would be better spent improving the safety of nuclear power and resolving the question of nuclear waste disposal.