Report | 2009

Nuclear Power: Climate Fix or Folly?

By Amory Lovins

This semitechnical article, summarizing a detailed and documented technical paper (see “The Nuclear Illusion” (2008)), compares the cost, climate protection potential, reliability, financial risk, market success, deployment speed, and energy contribution of new nuclear power with those of its low- or no-carbon competitors. It explains why soaring taxpayer subsidies haven’t attracted investors and how capitalists instead favor climate-protecting competitors with lower cost, construction time, and financial risk. Comparing all options’ ability to protect the earth’s climate and enhance energy security reveals why nuclear power could never deliver these promised benefits even if it could find free-market buyers—while its carbon-free rivals do offer highly effective climate and security solutions, far sooner, with higher confidence.