Issue Date: May 14, 2007
A Missing Word: Nuclear
In "Dealing with CO2 from Coal," Jeff Johnson makes some very good points while providing an abundance of useful information about the state of coal production and purification in the U.S., at a time when global warming is a high-profile scientifically and publicly acknowledged phenomenon (C&EN, April 2, page 48).
What troubled me about the article was the total absence of one word: nuclear. I realize that this was not an article about nuclear power, but rather coal power. However, in light of the splitting of the atom being the only practical source of large-scale sustainable energy currently available to us, some comparative mention of it in an article about coal should have been made.
Much has been said about the hydrogen economy, for example, yet such an economy is unsustainable and perhaps even impractical unless the hydrogen fuel required is made from water. Within the limits of our current technology, only nuclear energy can do this economically and thus realistically. When will the Department of Energy get back on board with its double-edged gift to the world and stop wasting precious time?
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