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  • A Nordic Nuclear Lesson

    Finland, like the United States, is facing both rapidly growing energy demands and a need to reduce their country’s carbon emissions. Unlike the U.S., Finland is being honest about the cost and benefits of currently available solutions and is about to finish their first nuclear power plant since 1980. Heritage analyst Jack Spencer details how the Finns were able to succeed where the U.S. has failed and concludes:

    Although burdened by high up-front capital costs, financial risk, and difficult politics, Fin­land recognizes the positive long-term impact of nuclear power. Not only has Finland begun con­structing a new reactor, but it has an approved waste disposition plan. Its policy is rational and consistent with the economic and national inter­ests of the nation.

    As the U.S. struggles to develop a productive energy policy, it should learn from Finland that nuclear power can have an important role in rec­onciling the desire to reduce pollution with the need to remain economically competitive. The U.S. should not blindly follow Finnish energy policy simply because Finland is building a reactor. It should, however, recognize the important role that nuclear power can play in meeting America’s energy requirements and follow the Finnish example of how to move from talking about nuclear power to actually building nuclear power plants.

    Global warming crusaders claim there is nothing more important than reducing the carbon humans emit into the atmosphere, but they refuse to even consider nuclear power as an option. This despite the fact that, as Freakonomics Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, explain:

    All careful analysis confirms that the risk of nuclear power is small. The chance of a large accident is very low, and consequences of such an accident would be substantially less than most people think. … In the United States, the near-term risk of doing without nuclear power is the risk attached to using oil or coal instead … The problems that these cause include acid rain; enormous balance-of-payment problems in the case of oil; the risk of war to ensure oil supplies; carcinogens in the air as oil and coal are burned; heavy metals such as mercury, lead and uranium emitted to the atmosphere as coal burns; black lung disease as coal is mined; vast areas of the country ruined as coal is strip-mined, etc.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

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