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Power Problems
Nuclear’s Future Is in Doubt
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  • Andrew Allison

    This is a recording: Name one successful ARPE-E project.
    TAI has consistently taken the position that fossil fuel alternatives that require government subsidy are not real alternatives. If nuclear power generation is not cost effective (or can’t be build due to opposition to it), so be it — we’ve got all the fossil fuel we need to do without it. Oddly, however, France built 58 nuclear reactors operated by Electricite de France (EdF), with a total capacity of 63.2 GWe, supplying 436 TWh of electricity in 2014, 77.5% of the total generated there (IEA data), Japan also managed to build over 50 (42 of which are in the process of being restarted), and Germany 17 (which, in line with Germany’s power generation madness, are being shut down). Meanwhile, work is proceeding on developing next-generation nuclear technology which may prove to be cost-effective. The biggest issue is probably not the cost but post-Fukuishima panic.

    • Angel Martin

      As Fukushima unfortunately demonstrated, nuclear has natural disaster tail risk like no other power source, in addition to being a massive terrorist target.

      If ARPA wants to do something useful, they should be working on decentralized and sabotage resistant coal to oil conversion for the next war.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Fukushima was an ancient design that should have been (and would have been) replaced long ago were it not for the irrational paranoia of the anti-nuclear greens. As for nukes being an attractive target for terrorists, they really aren’t, as (contrary to popular opinion) it is really hard to make a reactor melt-down. On the other hand, derailing a train loaded with chemicals, or sabotaging a refinery or chemical facility is fairly easy, and could cause far, far more damage if done properly.

  • Fat_Man

    Has ARPA-E ever done any nuclear research? I am sure that 90% of ARPA-E’s research is wasted money on known dry holes like solar. We ought to shut down some programs just to prove that it is possible. Otherwise, the only rational strategy for pedestrians is squirreling away canned food, specie coins, and ammunition.

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