The costs of nuclear power, from the cash investment to the risks of proliferation, disaster and environmental harm, are simply too high — especially when one considers that many of the true costs are obscured by government subsidies. Fortunately there are plenty of workable alternatives with low-to-zero carbon dioxide emissions. The current total power requirements of the United States could theoretically be supplied by solar power plants covering about 36,000 square kilometres of land in the desert southwest, an area an eighth the size of the state of Nevada. Wind energy could produce about nine times the current annual US electricity generation.

A US nuclear future?, Nature. Counterpoint view, “Not wanted, not needed,” was written by J. Doyne Farmer and Arjun Makhijani. (September 23, 2010)