Global Vision-Global Reach: Monterey/Middlebury Lecture Series


Richard Wolfson

Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics, Middlebury College

“Nuclear Power: One Environmentalist’s Perspective.”

Wed, Nov. 11, 6:00 -7:30 pm

McGowan 102

Pro- or anti-nuclear? To this environmentalist, nuclear power is too complex for a simple “pro” or “anti” stance. On the one hand, nuclear power is decidedly dangerous, with its deadly radioactive waste, potential for accidents and terrorist attacks, and its connection to nuclear weapons. On the other hand, nuclear power provides a significant fraction of the world’s electricity, and does so with minimal carbon emissions. The nuclear option is one of only two long-proven, large-scale alternatives to fossil fuels for electric power generation. And the very thing that makes nuclear power dangerous—its high energy density—also means that the nuclear option uses far fewer resources and generates far less waste than fossil fuels. So how should an environmentalist view nuclear power? This talk gives one environmentalist’s nuanced answer.


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