Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
Have you read anywhere in my comments that I'm anti-nuclear? or anti-science?
1) The reactors we have now are not safe - their risk assumptions are inadequate, so are their designs, so is their regulatory oversight, so is the responsibility of their operators.
2) The reactors we are about to build are only marginally better.
3) Providing more, and cheaper power for people to make more wasteful things, with any incentive to optimise on energy efficiency removed, is stupidly short-sighted.
The true costs of Nuclear, and doing it right, are astronomical. If that's the only option we have in the short - mid term, then we should bear those costs and do it correctly.
However, it isn't the only choice. Ze Germans will be at 35% energy from renewables by 2020 on current forecasts, while its labs and universities are cranking out fantastic improvements in fundamental and applied technologies at a cracking rate - because their government has the foresight to realise that this is another market in which their industry can become a world leader from day one!
More than that, the really HUGE scientific and industrial movement which is beginning to gather pace is the hydrogen economy. With those little solar panels on your roof, you can split rain-water into hydrogen and oxygen to fuel your house, your car, your computer, whatever you like. This is the real shift that so many people aren't seeing, and the reason why solar is so much more than just pushing subsidised energy back into the grid. (It's also very IT by the way, I was talking to a researcher last week working on nano-fuel cells for powering mobile devices... interesting stuff).
The British were the world leaders in the seventies. I doubt very much, if every last program hadn't been gutted both in the U.S. and the U.K. by the Regan/Thatcher axis, that we'd even need this discussion now.