World Nuclear Association Blog

Lovelock says not using nuclear is 'quite mad'

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James LovelockJames Lovelock was interviewed on BBC's Newsnight on 2 April, covering a range of the many environmental issues where he's made an immense contribution, including the very future of humanity itself.

Addressing energy, Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman asked what had gone wrong about the perception of nuclear energy. Lovelock said that he wished he knew. He said nuclear energy was a "normal natural thing for the universe." and that our not using it was "quite mad."

Lovelock speculated one reason was that humanity had guilt about having first used nuclear in wartime, that prevented us using it as a "safe, clean and nearly perfect source of energy".

On other energy sources, Lovelock proclaimed himself as "fairly neutral" on gas fracking, although on potential impacts such as water course pollution he was worried. However, he thought countries like the UK may have no choice but to burn methane, in the absence of other available fuels, as he could imagine nothing was much worse environmentally than a sudden cessation of electricity supplies. 

The programme is available for UK viewers to watch again until 9 April at