The tragedy in Japan is causing many to rethink cost/benefits of nuclear power in the U.S.
Sure nuclear has a low carbon footprint. But the if something goes wrong, it can go terribly wrong and have long lasting damage.
The image is the USGS map of Peak Ground Acceleration in seismic hazard areas. The least seismic areas look to be America’s bread basket. One might think that that’s the place to put nuclear power plants. But would it be wise to have nuclear power plants and nuclear waste facilities where we grow America’s grain?
Nuclear is expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and expensive for long term waste storage. Nuclear requires extensive government subsidies.
Note that these low seismic areas are precisely the areas targeted by T. Boone Pickens for massive wind farms. Wind farms are cheap to build, cheap to maintain and have no long term waste issues.
Nuclear power is a great idea. It’s what been powering our planet since day one. Fortunately our main thermonuclear reactor is a safe 150 million km away from us.