Germany is getting rid of its power plants. Should we be following suit?
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, Germany is undertaking a massive effort to eliminate its eight nuclear power plants. It will rely on more wind and solar power, and less on coal.
The Germans may spend as much as $250 billion over the next several years just to get this plan started. Japan, meanwhile, despite a worried public, is still considering how much nuclear power they want to have part of their future energy mix.
In Connecticut, about half of our electricity comes from nuclear power. Much of the rest is powered by natural gas. While nuclear is viewed as risky - both politically and technologically - it might be part of a future that must rely less on fossil fuels.
Do we need another nuclear plant in the state, or are the risks too great? Should we reduce our reliance on nuclear power? What other sources of energy should we invest in?
Our guests include David Talbot, chief correspondent for Technology Review magazine at MIT, who wrote an article called "The Great German Energy Experiment" about Germany's plan to eliminate nuclear plants. Also joining us is Dr. Regis Matzie, secretary of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, to talk about a recent study he helped to conduct called Advances in Nuclear Power Technology.