Sir: Recently it has developed that there is consensus among scientists that there is global warming going on and that a principal factor in causing it is the CO2 resulting from human affairs. A major culprit is the excessive use of fossil fuel. It is ironical that, almost at the same time, the demise of nuclear power stations in the UK is announced. No more will be built.
Nuclear power stations contribute nothing to the CO2 content of the atmosphere; in fact, they contribute nothing of any harm at all, unlike a coal-fired power station which emits carcinogens and appreciable radioactivity as well as the CO2.
The nuclear power industry has been destroyed by a combination of misinformed zealots and the greed of the purveyors of fossil fuel. The evils that have been evaded are nearly all imaginary.
A greatly increased dependence on electric power, extending to travel, and the use of nuclear reactors to supply that power, would turn the situation around. We need to move to adopt that way of life as a means to avoid a future catastrophe.
Let me add that I am implacably opposed to the use of nuclear weapons and have written and spoken in opposition to them. Also I have worked with radiation for 60 of my 89 years.
(Evan Pugh Professor
Pennsylvania State University)
Niton, Isle of WightReuse content