Nuclear power is getting increased attention as a clean alternative to coal and gas powered electric generating plants. A 2001 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that a single 1,000 megawatt nuclear powerplant could displace the equivalent of about 2.1 million tons of carbon from a coal-fired powerplant, 1.6 million tons from an oil-fired plant and 1.0 million tons from a natural-gas plant.
Even some environmentalists are giving nuclear power a grudging second look. Judith Greenwald, director of innovative solutions for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change commented; "Nuclear power can contribute to solving the climate-change problem, if it can solve its own problems."
The problem that they are overlooking is that uranium production has already peaked and is in decline:
The shortfall in production has been covered by several secondary sources including excess inventories held by utilities, producers, other fuel cycle participants, reprocessed uranium and plutonium derived from used reactor fuel, and uranium derived from the dismantling of Russian nuclear weapons. As excess inventories and nuclear weapons are used up, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain supply for existing reactors.
The only way out is renewable sources of energy, but renewable sources are small scale, local, and independent of the net; the energy industry has to make a major adjustment in the way they view energy production in order to make the jump.