But What Do We Do With All That Glowing Waste?

Fossil fuels must provide much of our electricity for years to come, meaning that electric vehicles are burning fossil fuels. But let’s look at where juice would come from, absent fossil fuels, to run American factories, plus home heat for 330 million people, plus their cooking and home entertainment, plus a fleet of 200 million electric vehicles. Multiplying our current solar energy by 10 (it’s now about 1 percent of our energy mix) won’t do.

Nuclear. That’s the real Green New Deal. As fossil fuels become more expensive and objectionable, “clean, safe nuclear power” is envisioned to carry the energy load. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are little nuke plants built like autos in a factory and delivered in shipping containers anywhere in the world: the Arctic, the Amazon, and small towns like Eugene. Bill Gates is testing one in Wyoming. Oregon’s NuScale is testing in Idaho. A Chinese SMR will be produced in 2026. Britain in 2028. America, maybe 2030. They can be generating nuclear waste (I mean, energy) two years after the order is placed. Very convenient for mining, oil extraction and electric agribusiness. The industry optimistically projects thousands installed by 2050.

Today, there are more than 80,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste in America, and over a quarter of a million tons in over five hundred locations around the world. Most of it has not even been “dry casked,” and is sitting in pools. Dry casks are these cement and steel jobs rated for 100 years of storage. When the century is over, and the cans start leaking, who will pony up to re-cask them repeatedly for the next several hundred thousand years?

Electric means nuclear. If you don’t like nuke waste, don’t press for EVs. 

Christopher Logan