Those who think that nuclear energy is going to solve the planet's climate woes have had a summer of hard knocks.
Radioactive contamination of groundwater beneath California's San Onofre nuclear power plant last week came on the heels of a major leak at a nuclear disposal facility in France earlier this year. In recent years, the story has been little better as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formed a task force to investigate more than a dozen leaks over that time.
In all of these cases the culprit was tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen implicated in cancer, miscarriages and birth defects. At San Onofre tritium levels were between 2 and 16 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's safety limit.
Meanwhile, world leaders continue to pump up the nuclear option as a solution to global warming. This despite the fact that nuclear plants throughout Europe were forced to shut down during this summers heat wave because the river meant to keep them cool, was too warm to do the job.
If the health, security, reliability and cost problems with nuclear are not enough to convince policy makers to dump it as a global warming solution, then the shear volume of lobbying and propaganda dollars it takes for the nuclear industry to sell their product should be.
This is a 'solution' that is dangerous, unhealthy and unwanted. Just as importantly, the more we tie jobs and our economy to nuclear power and radioactive materials, we increase the risk to both our health and our ability to embrace better solutions.
Sweden is going oil free without adding any nuclear capacity. What's our problem?