First, though many countries pay lip service to the wonders of renewable energy sources, solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal remain a paltry 4.9% of global electricity production, according to the World Nuclear Association. (See figure.) The reason, Dr. Brook and his co-authors argue, is not because of societal intransigence but “the undeniably diffuse and intermittent nature of the energy sources themselves” as well as “technological immaturity.”
The “diffuse and intermittent nature of the energy sources” is particularly problematic because they relate to the laws of physics. For multiple reasons, it is difficult to provide sufficient electricity to a dense urban area using only renewable sources. Neither does the sun shine nor the wind blow all day long.
So wind and solar are too ‘diffuse’ and unreliable to base an energy economy on, second the energy model ‘alternate’ sources use doesn’t address the growing need and use of energy in developing countries.
Third, nuclear technology has advanced to such an extent that the three biggest safety concerns (namely, radioactive waste, weapons proliferation, and accidents) have been largely solved. Dr. Brook is so bullish on one type of nuclear technology, called Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs), that he claims it “has been proven capable of eventually providing not just a slice of the energy pie but the whole pie.
The IFR’s actually ‘eat’ radioactive waste that already exists, this converts a problem (the stored reactor waste around the world) to an asset. Produce more energy from fuel that is already dug up, and stored in a known location.