John RitchAs the director-general of the World Nuclear Association, John Ritch has a bird’s eye overview of the trends and the issues associated with nuclear technology. Unsurprisingly, as an ally of the industry, he champions the nuclear option, calling it an indispensable asset for a world that wants more energy (lots more, in fact) in order to prosper and also wants it to be increasingly carbon free to fight climate change. While maintaining that other alternatives will play their roles, too, he insists that current debates about the future energy-mix often obscure an overriding trend: most leaders in the United States and in Europe are embracing nuclear power as a mainstay in their countries’ emerging energy strategies. Already, nuclear energy powers roughly one light bulb in five in the United States and one in three in Europe, and now new political commitments and financial investments are starting to flow into commercial nuclear power. As Ritch explains it, the new energy crisis is more complicated than previous energy shocks because this one involves so many interlocking questions: supply security versus dependence on imports; competitive costs of different fuels; and environmental stabilization and sustainability.


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