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Despite the triple meltdown at Fukushima-which has driven tens of thousands of Japanese from their homes, cast radioactive fallout across the U.S., and will likely cost the Japanese economy ¥50 trillion, or $623 billion-many desperate Greens now embrace nukes. They include Stewart Brand and George Monbiot. What drives these men is panic-a very legitimate fear that we will trigger self-fueling runaway climate change.
Part of this green embrace of the atom is a macho performance of seriousness. Nuke hugging demonstrates a technophilic resolve, manly determination to muscle through. The semiotics of the green nuke huggers’ message is clear: “I am a man, an adult, ready to do whatever it takes to fight climate change. I have put aside childish utopianism and even endorsed this most dangerous, capital intensive, and war-tainted of technologies: atom smashing.”
So far, so very brave.
back in the real world, nukes face nearly insurmountable
economichurdles. Never mind the issue of safety, economic
factors—capital costs, construction cost, availability and prices of
special metals and engineering expertise, and profitability—are the real
issue. Economics will determine the future of atomic power—or rather,
already have. And here is the takeaway: there will be no nuclear future.