When All Else Fails, There’s Always Nuclear Energy

Jack Spencer /

Flash back to the mid 1990s. You’re the coach of the Chicago Bulls and your team is down by one with seven seconds to go. It’s crunch time. Who do you get the ball to, Michael Jordan or bring in the 12th guy off the bench. This isn’t a trick question; it’s just a no brainer. You get the ball to MJ.

Energy policy is no different. When facing an energy crisis and countries face a disruption for one reason or another and they need a lot of energy, are they going to choose windmills or nuclear power? This one’s also a no brainer and many countries are making these decisions today.

As a result of Russian-Ukraine natural gas disputes, Ukraine and much or Europe has been forced to make critical and immediate decisions concerning their energy supply. Unsurprisingly, these nations did not attempt to solve their energy crisis with wind or solar. Also unsurprisingly, they turned to nuclear. The WSJ reports:

Eastern countries like Slovakia and Bulgaria have been among the hardest hit by the crisis, because they are nearly totally dependent on Russian gas. Both have restarted Soviet-era nuclear reactors they mothballed as a condition to join the European economic bloc. Slovakia’s president openly said that, faced with a “cold and dark” winter or a wrist slap from Brussels, he’s prepared to power up the nuclear reactors and deal with the consequences later. Poland, which isn’t in the EU, just said that nuclear power will be a cornerstone of its new energy policy.

Even Western European countries long leery of nuclear power are rethinking it. Italy’s large gas reserves kept it insulated from the latest crisis, but it still sparked government officials into a call for more nuclear power to boost Italy’s energy security. (more…)