Barry Brook, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology, U. of Tasmania, Australia & Staffan Qvist, Dept. of Physics and Astrophysics, Uppsala University, Sweden: This documents the excellent French and Swedish nuclear power plant construction programs in the 1960s to 1990s. It then extrapolates to a prediction that the whole world could be on 100 % nuclear power within 25 - 34 years. This must assume that the rest of the world has similar government support and cooperation, similar stable, honest leadership, sound economies, industrial capabilities, education systems, etc. and that the construction companies and nuclear fuel demands for France and Sweden can be quickly increased to those of the whole world. It assumes that the world will use the same nuclear technology as the Swedish and French programs of the 1970s to 90s. In reality, it may take several hundred years to replace 50% of fossil fuels with advanced nuclear technologies that still need development and testing.
John Shanahan, Dr. Ing., Civil Engineer: With financial and management situations of Toshiba, Westinghouse, Areva, and GE in the nuclear power business, the world's capability to build new nuclear power plants has obviously been set back. China, Russia and South Korea are now the leading sources of new nuclear power plants. How France and the United States might make a come back is not known at this time. This is a simple estimate of how long it might take to have nuclear become 50% of the world's electric generating capacity. The conclusion is that it will probably take several hundred years to get to 50% nuclear electric generating capacity. This has significant implications for energy planning.
Fritz Vahrenholt, PhD Chemistry: Is the program in Germany to stop using nuclear power and switch to wind and solar energy more important than nature itself? BaZ: Sie haben die deutsche Energiewende als «Desaster» bezeichnet. Wieso? Fritz Vahrenholt: Zunächst einmal hat die deutsche Regierung nach dem Tsunami in Japan innerhalb eines Wochenendes entschieden, auf die Kernenergie zu verzichten, die bis dahin die Grundlast für die deutsche Industrie erzeugt hat. Die Regierung will seither diese gesicherte Energie durch schwankenden Strom aus Sonne und Wind ersetzen. Dass das nicht vernünftig ist, weiss eigentlich jeder.
Jon Boone, environmentalist, naturalist, bird and nature artist, wind energy expert: “The release of energy from splitting a uranium atom turns out to be 2 million times greater than breaking the carbon-hydrogen bond in coal, oil or wood. Compared to all the forms of energy ever employed by humanity, nuclear power is off the scale. Wind has less than 1/10th the energy density of wood, wood half the density of coal, and coal half the density of octane. Altogether they differ by a factor of about 50. Nuclear has 2 million times the energy density of gasoline. It is hard to fathom this in light of our previous experience. Yet our energy future largely depends on grasping the significance of this differential. “ William Tucker, lecture Understanding E=MC2