Conservation scientists call on nuclear energy over renewables

5 Jan 2015

Leading scientists from Britain are claiming nuclear power production must be escalated for the sake of our planet and that having a future solely relying on renewable energy is ‘too risky’.

The cabal conservation biologists are due to publish an open letter in the publication Conservation Biology towards the end of this month, calling on environmental activist groups seeking the closure of all nuclear power plants to end their campaigns.

According to The Independent on Sunday in the UK, 65 biologists have put their name to the letter with seven attaching their signatures, including former chief scientific adviser to the British government, Prof Andrew Balmford.

The crux of their argument is that nuclear energy is, in fact, the statistically more environmentally friendly energy source with regard to the protection of ecosystems and leaving more land space for biodiversity and preventing the extinction of certain species.

Wind and solar can be harmful to ecosystems

In their opinion, while renewable energies such as solar and wind offer a cleaner alternative to fossil-fuel production, the thought process that aims to see the world powered solely by solar and wind energy is not realistic as they feel the land required to meet our energy needs would seriously harm the planet’s ecosystems.

However, they are quick to point out they do not feel the technology has no place in future energy generation, but must work with nuclear leading the fray.

Speaking to The Independent on Sunday, one of the co-authors of the letter, Prof Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide, said, “Our main goal was to show – through careful, objective scientific analysis – that on the basis of cost, safety, emissions reduction, land use and pollution, nuclear power must be considered in the future energy mix.”

He continued, “By convincing leading scientists in the areas of ecological sustainability that nuclear has a role to play, we hope that others opposed to nuclear energy on purely ‘environmental’ – or ideological – grounds might reconsider their positions.”

Nuclear power plant image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic