The Nuclear Energy Option: An Alternative for the 90's

By Bernard L. Cohen | Go to book overview

Chapter 14

/ THE SOLAR DREAM

One final point of public misunderstanding is the widespread impression that solar electricity will soon be replacing nuclear power, so there is no need to bother with nuclear energy. There are vociferous political organizations pushing this viewpoint, and a substantial portion of the public seems to be largely convinced that our primary source of electricity in the next century will be solar.

As a frequent participant in meetings on energy technology, I have come to know several solar energy experts, but I have yet to meet one who shares the above opinion. Their professional lives are devoted to development of solar electricity, and most of them are very enthusiastic about its future. Nevertheless, they have encouraged me in my efforts on behalf of nuclear power, saying frankly that the public's expectations for solar power are unrealistic. They foresee its future, at least for the near term, as a supplement to other technologies, with advantages in certain situations, rather than as the principal power source for an industrialized society.

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