Vaclav Smil, Czech-Canadian scientist and policy analyst. Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba in Canada: The human craving for novelty is insatiable, and in a small matter you can meet it in no time at all, particularly when Moore’s Law can help you. It took a single decade to come up with entirely new mobile phones. But you just can’t replicate that pace of adoption with techniques that form the structure of modern civilization—growing food, extracting energy, producing bulk materials, or providing transport on mass scales.
Vaclav Smil, Czech-Canadian scientist and policy analyst. Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba in Canada: The age of commercial nuclear electricity generation began on 17 October 1956, when Queen Elizabeth II switched on Calder Hall, on the Cumberland coast of England. Sixty years is long enough to judge the technology, and I still cannot improve on my evaluation from the early 2000s: a “successful failure.” He says that we have to have better technology. The record for nuclear safety and production of electricity exceeds all other forms of generating electricity. For some, nuclear will never be safe or good enough.