By Michael Mariotte

Still got a long way to go….Vogtle Units 3 (left) and 4, July 30, 2015.

At GreenWorld, we like to look forward. Forward to the day that nuclear power is a bad but fading memory and our planet is powered as safely, cleanly and affordably as possible with renewable energy and advanced 21st century efficiency, storage and grid technologies. Forward to that day of a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system.

It’s a day that we believe is coming, and is coming sooner than could have been believed even five years ago. But while we believe that day is inevitable, the timing is important: if it comes too late to turn back the worst effects of climate chaos, then its inevitableness won’t matter. And it won’t come on its own in time. As we’ve said here often, it will take all of us who believe in that future to act to bring it about in time.

Nor will that day just suddenly happen. It is the product of a transition, a transition that already has begun but that is still in its infancy and whose stumbling steps could be blocked or halted for years or even decades at any time. Chronicling–and urging along–that transition is the purpose of GreenWorld. So, naturally, we tend to look forward.

As we enter our third year of publication next week, however, it is appropriate to both look back for just one day and to turn our focus toward you, our readers. Who you are, and, of the 89 posts we published last year (about 1.7 per week, if you’re counting) on topics ranging from solar power in Indiana, Fukushima’s aftermath, the growing interest and viability of electricity storage highlighted by Tesla’s release of the consumer-oriented PowerWall, Russia’s increasingly aggressive efforts to market nuclear power abroad, to continuing coverage of the economically threatened reactors owned by Exelon, Entergy and FirstEnergy, what you found most interesting in 2015.

The most-read article on GreenWorld this past year pretty much sums up the state of nuclear power in 2015. Titled Vogtle: at $65 billion and counting, it’s a case study of nuclear power’s staggeringly awful economics, the piece examines the cost overruns and construction delays of America’s symbol of the “nuclear renaissance.” While the focus of the piece is on the Vogtle reactors being built, slowly and expensively, near the Georgia/South Carolina border, the fundamental conclusion–that the economics of not only Vogtle but nuclear power generally don’t add up, that nuclear reactors are not only too costly to build but even to operate–permeated throughout GreenWorld, and the real world, during the year.

Close behind were two articles focused on France: Yves Marignac of WISE-Paris’ expose of the serious problems found with manufacture of Areva’s EPR reactors, The EPR “anamoly;” what’s at stake for Areva and my piece on a presentation on nuclear power’s dwindling status in France Yves provided at NIRS’ office, The accelerating decline of French nuclear power.

The effects of radiation–the basic reason we all oppose nuclear power …read more

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