Sorry for the delay in replying to questions raised by Off_The_Street previously. The Wired magazine website is time-consuming to navigate unless
you know the category in which the article of interest is filed. Here is the link to their latest in-depth article on nuclear power:
The other website I mentioned:
includes a page listing their Board of Directors; several scientists are members, although none are physicists.
The Spring 2006 issue of OnEarth, the environmental magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council, (winner - for general excellence - of the UTNE
Independent Press Awards 2005 - for its well-researched articles), does feature a 2-page interview (on nuclear power and global warming) with Tom
Cochran, their lead physicist. This article is not currently on their website, although prior articles featuring Cochran are listed. Just search on
the word Cochran to find currently available articles:
The Spring 2006 issue's (pp. 46-47) interview with Tom Cochran is titled: "The Nuclear Option: Some think it's a solution to global warming, but
atomic energy is still plagued with problems of its own."
The "hard science" perspective is evident in all of Cochran's answers. For example, in response to the question, "Are reactors really safe?",
Cochran states: "While the risk of a catastrophic core melt-down at a reactor in the United States is considered to be much lower today than it was
two decades ago, dangerous precursor events still occur. The next serious nuclear accident is most likely to happen in China, India, or Russia, where
reactor safety standards are still less stringent." In response to the question, "What are our alternatives?", Cochran's reply is: "Our
national electricity needs could be met, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent or more, through a combination of
increased energy efficiency, wind power, solar power, advanced coal-fired plants with carbon capture and storage, and high-efficiency natural gas
turbines. It certainly doesn't make sense to spend tens of billions of federal dollars to subsidize just a few new nuclear plants when we have so
many other, more promising options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That course of action will simply drain research and development funds from
more efficient and more cost-competitive non-nuclear technologies, thereby slowing achievement of meaningful carbon dioxide reductions."
Last, a book review by Mariana Gosnell currently available on the NYTimes website:
reviews a new book on global warming. The book: Field notes from a catastrophe, by former N.Y. Times reporter Elizabeth Kolbert. The book review
quotes a physicist who is working on finding carbon-free sources of energy: Marty Hoffert, a physics professor at New York University, says for
example that "turbines suspended in the jet stream could generate wind power".