Nuclear Power's Role (Brent Barker, Electric Power Research Institute)
What issues will affect the future of energy? Let an EPRI* expert fill you in. *Electric Power Research Institute is one of the nation's leading energy industry think tanks.
Transcript: Nuclear Power's Role
Do we need nuclear power? I think anybody that's looked at the future of the energy system of the world says yes we do need it. We'll need at least two of the big three. Nuclear, fossil, and renewable energy. You can't get by with one. You need at least two and it's preferable to have three. So if you don't have nuclear you have renewables, which is very expensive which means all of those people you're trying to bring up and out of poverty may not be able to afford electricity, which keeps you locked into fossil fuels, which keeps you locked into all of the environmental problems associated with that. There's no perfect energy source. They all have problems associated with it. But I think nuclear is a necessity to the future portfolio. What will we do with the waste ? We won't bury it and leave it there for 250,000 years. My guess is that within a hundred years we'll have the technology to dispose of that in very safe ways. One of the ways will be burning it up for fuel. Some of it will be knocking it down to more stable forms, so it's not so toxic. And we'll keep handling it as needed. We'll manage this waste. It's small. It's compact. It's very dangerous. But at least it's small and compact enough that people can deal with it.