Nuclear Energy Can Power Our Future (letter)

Bob, I respect you as a sincere person who has the public interest at heart. I also respect Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute ( as a sincere person who has the public interest at heart. He also has the qualifications of being a physicist who has studied the economics, safety and environmental costs of nuclear power in comparison to efficiency and renewables for 50 years; advising U.S. presidents, large utility companies, the Pentagon, K-Mart and others; and being recognized with a MacArthur Foundation grant, the so-called genius award. Amory gave workshops here at the Feathered Pipe Ranch in the early 1980; so I've met him and have followed his work for decades. As you've noted before, he "doesn't like" nuclear power. It's with good reasons, including cost, safety, proliferation, waste storage (the radioactive waste does not disappear, not even with PRISM) and environmental impact, and that applies to the technology you're advocating. Nuclear power has been promoted in a rosy way since the 1950s, when it was going to be "too cheap to meter." I haven't read much on it, but apparently PRISM technology largely entails the same economic costs as other nuclear power technologies, which makes it 2-20 times as costly as efficiency and renewables. I'm no expert on this complicated subject, but I don't know of a better expert than Amory Lovins. Not incidentally, he has also kept RMI non-partisan and focused on market-based solutions.

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