Expanding nuclear power is only one piece of the energy puzzle. But it is a piece we cannot afford to dismiss.
The reason is clear. Electricity demand is rising -- some say by as much as 50 percent during the next 30 to 50 years.
That's from an op-ed in today's SF Chron by the always-interesting G. Paschal Zachary (author of the wonderful book from a few years back, The Global Me). In "The Case for Nuclear Power," Zachary recounts a youth spent protesting nuclear power plants and catches the reader up on how nuke tech is better, safer, etc. It's well worth reading and is online here [*link fixed finally!].
As is the original Port Huron Statement, put out by Students for a Democratic Society, on this score. It takes nuclear power for granted ("whole cities can easily be powered" by it, even as the authors worry about nuclear weaponry; the full text even argues that "our monster cities…might now be humanized [and] broken into smaller communities, powered by nuclear energy) [updated link].
And so are the remarkable--and generally underreported--accounts of the long-term damage done by Chernobyl, the biggest nuclear accident to date. As the Wash Post glossed last year's authoritative UN study on the matter, the effects "were far less catastrophic than feared."