Video: Dr James Hansen on Nuclear Power

Famed climate change scientist, James Hansen shares his viewpoint on nuclear energy.

Take a look at this video from a series of outtakes from Pandora’s Promise. This fascinating interview is conducted by Robert Stone with Jim Hansen, the former head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

In this interview, Jim Hansen answers key questions about the lessons from Fukushima, about long lived radioactive waste, and why we can’t solve the climate problem just by becoming more energy efficient.

On nuclear: I think the only hope we have of phasing down emissions by middle of the century, which is what we will have to do, if we want young people to have a future, then we’re going to have to find alternatives. At this time, nuclear seems to be the best candidate. 

On energy efficiency: it’s useful to show that you can have a lifestyle which produces less carbon, but this doesn’t solve the problem. All that happens, even if you convince thousand people or a million, or even a billion people, to reduce their remissions is you reduce the demand for the fuel, which lowers its price and somebody else will burn it. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, we are going to keep burning them.

On waste: The big problem with the current generation of nuclear reactors that they have this waste pile that you have to babysit for millennia.