We are seeing the death of nuclear power's precious myth

Folks who want to build more nuclear power plants love to deride greener tech like wind or solar. Those aren't dependable they love to point out.

Folks who want to build more nuclear power plants love to deride greener tech like wind or solar. Those aren't dependable they love to point out. The sun may not shine. The air may be still for hours, or days on end. We allnow about becalmed sailing ships before the days of wonderful steam or diesel.

Good old dependable nuclear power. Always there churning out the clean electricity. Just as sturdy as a train load of coal, but none of that CO2. Well, forget the problems with indisposable nuclear waste. Think about the water. We've blogged about how precious water is becoming. Especially critical will be the problems of water as climate change makes the weather more extreme and less dependable.

Take right now, right here in the U.S. where 24 nuclear plants may face shutdown because they are too thirsty in the parched southwestern states. And we can't just open a giant spigot and give 'em more water. The arid western states already use huge amounts of energy just to move water from where it is to where it'll be used. Like Vegas and Phoenix sitting serenely in the desert using water pumped from afar, or below the earth (now there's a real fool's plan, pumping dry the aquifers for golf and swimming pools in the sun). You do NOT want to own a golf course or a pool cleaning service in Phoenix in 2050.

Oh, and those dependable nuclear plants can't use abundant salt water. They need stuff that's at least as clean as what you'd use to do your laundry or water the garden. So the drought is a big "oops" for nuclear just they'd hoped we'd gotten over Chernobyl in our flurry or worry about how we'll power our air conditioners next summer.

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