Bill Gates: Nuclear has had a 'good century', but 'miracle' needed

“If you ignore 1979, 1986 and 2011, come on, we’ve had a good century.”

Climatewire reports from the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference:

…Gates said there are “five miracles” that also could factor in. The first would be success in capturing carbon emissions, Gates said, which would work well with natural gas if prices of that fuel stay low.

“All you need to do is put carbon capture on that and be willing to pay for it,” Gates said. “You can imagine a future where you’re just using a lot of natural gas and you’re able to do the capture, extremely good capture, like 95 percent capture, which means some innovation.

“That miracle alone would get you a long ways.”

There could also be a miracle in nuclear energy, he said, although it currently is controversial. Gates has invested in new technology for nuclear, a fourth-generation design (Greenwire, Dec. 7, 2011). It could become part of the world’s energy mix comparatively soon, Gates said.

“If everything goes perfectly, by 2022, the demo reactor will be in place,” Gates said, and by 2028, it would be a design that could be replicated in many places.

“How often does everything go perfectly?” Murray asked.

In nuclear?” Gates said. “If you ignore 1979, 1986 and 2011, come on, we’ve had a good century“… [Emphasis added]

5 thoughts on “Bill Gates: Nuclear has had a 'good century', but 'miracle' needed”

  1. Carbon capture. If it’s unnecessary, is it really a miracle? But heck, maybe they can mineralize carbon and make asphalt with it. Or recycle it in algae fuel ponds and real greenhouses – although Archer Daniels Midland found out recylcing waste heat and CO2 worked best as a PR stunt.

    Either Gates is lying, or his plans can’t be implemented anything close to “Immediately.”

  2. I have always disliked, although his work with eliminating Pol;ia is to be applauded. There were no deaths at all with the 1979 and 2011 nuclear events. The Japan plants were properly designed, although no plant could w9ithstand a large asteroid hit. The question is whether the 120 ft tsunami was a foreseeable risk or more like a large asteroid impact. The 19,000 humans killed in the 3/11 event were killed by the unbelievable tsunami; none by the nuclear plant.

    The 1986 event at Chernobyl did kill some people, and there were estimates at the time of several thousand (around the 19,000 in Japan) from the radiation release. It was wonderful that the latest estimates at casualties was no were near what was expected. Snide comments make bad policy.

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