Nuclear Power vs.Solar Power

Radiation 10,000 times normal has been measured outside of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor #3. Workers that stepped in a pool of water, that seeped into their boots and compromised their protective gear, are now facing the ultimate cost for our irresponsible choices, and will likely be only the first of many to come. The levels of radiation detected ensure that the damage to the reactors has definitely progressed to the point of breach of either the critical plumbing system of the reactor, or the reactor itself.

Nuclear energy will not solve our energy problems by providing enough power. Solar energy needs no fuel and has no decommissioning costs (compared to nuclear). Costs per Watt are just incomparable.

We can build complete photovoltaic plants for $ 3,200/kilowatt. Solar thermal plants are even more favorable, in connection with other renewable energy technologies to solving availability, load balancing, etc., There is no argument for the use of nuclear energy vs. solar energy when taken into account the nuclear lobby, free raw material, no risk, no landfill problems, etc.

According to a recent study conducted by NC WARN, a member-based nonprofit nuclear and climate change watchdog group, the cost of building a nuclear power station is increasing as the costs for building Solar plants are decreasing. Their study conducted in July of 2010 shows the cost of solar energy dropped to roughly 15.9¢/kWh, while nuclear power costs rose to nearly 20$¢/kWh at the plant site, before any transmission charges.

The debate over the future of nuclear power has just stepped up a notch – with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima plant "raises questions" about the use of nuclear energy in the country.

“What’s happening in Japan raises questions about the costs and the risks associated with nuclear power, but we have to answer those. We get 20 per cent of our energy right now in the United States from nuclear power.” Clinton said.