2 January 2017

Kerry Emanuel: A climate scientist for nuclear energy

Dawn Stover

Stover is a science writer based in the Pacific Northwest and is a contributing editor at the Bulletin. Her work has appeared in...


In this interview, MIT meteorologist Kerry Emanuel explains why he and three other prominent American climate scientists have been outspoken about their support for ramping up nuclear power as a solution to climate change. He discusses issues of safety, cost, waste, and proliferation. Emanuel emphasizes that all energy technologies have dangers, and that the dangers of nuclear power must be weighed against those of other technologies. He suggests that a society powered entirely by renewable energy, even if that were to be technically achievable, might not be the best possible solution from an economic or environmental standpoint. He explains why he views the climate problem as not just a risk but also an opportunity to transform the electrical power system and improve the economic well-being of the developing world.