We are faced with an urgent humanitarian need to stop burning coal. Coal soot not only shortens hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide, it also causes impaired development and permanent damage to tens of thousands of children. To end this suffering and tragic loss of potential, we need to make available to all countries a safe and carbon-free alternative to coal power, that would be cheaper than coal power.
We can state with certainty that “renewables” can never replace coal and natural gas worldwide, while still allowing underdeveloped countries to improve their standard of living.
Wind turbines and solar cells provide low-quality, unreliable, non-dispatchable power, that does not meet the needs of power providers. Therefore they hardly reduce the non-wind, non-solar plant that must be built. In fact in practice they significantly reduce the efficiency of any fossil-fuel backup sources, resulting in negligible emissions reductions. They offer low-quality power at an ultimate high cost, when the need for backup power is considered. Any attempt to improve the quality by resorting to storage batteries will make the cost exorbitant, due to inefficiency of storage.
The safe and affordable nuclear power that could be produced by utilizing a thorium fuel cycle in a Molten Salt Fast Reactor clearly offers the best available prospect of phasing out fossil-fuel plants worldwide, while still allowing all countries to improve their standard of living.