Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin - ndbatteries.com

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin

TEDx Talks
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For more information on Michael Shellenberger, please visit . Michael Shellenberger is co-founder and Senior Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, where he was president from 2003 to 2015, and a co-author of the Ecomodernist Manifesto.
Over the last decade, Michael and his colleagues have constructed a new paradigm that views prosperity, cheap energy and nuclear power as the keys to environmental progress. A book he co-wrote (with Ted Nordhaus) in 2007, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism
to the Politics of Possibility, was called by Wired magazine “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” while Time Magazine called him a “hero of the environment.” In the 1990s, he helped protect the last signi cant groves of old-growth redwoods still in private hands and bring about labor improvements to Nike factories in Asia. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

520 Comments

  1. CrabApples Bodaciously Bitter Fruit's says:

    Buncha b***** buy $DRV

  2. Even Greta Thunberg once said the nuclear power is a way to reduce clima change but she had to pull back this statement afterwards cause it didnt fit into the agenda on some people around her

  3. The talk is compelling but I am still sceptical of keeping a trained workforce who can cross to making bombs. The nuclear states have not kept there promises to nuclear disarm. The NPT is not being upheld despite nuclear weapons being made illegal recently. So nuclear states who interfere with other countries business stopped doing that then that would be the only reasonable excuse we could have worrying about the whole world getting the bomb, which by the way, has not happened either.

  4. There's been a better way for almost a hundred years. It hinges on classified energy-generation technologies being made open-source and public. “Back in about 1964 a researcher at the Hughes Laboratory by the name of Robert L. Forward showed that there was a particular effect, called the Casimir Effect, which demonstrated that this energy could be taped.” ~ Dr. Harold E. Puthoff “These concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world and yet they have not really seen the light of day. If these technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change would be profound, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that have happened in the history of the world.” ~ Brian O’leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor

  5. As much as I enjoyed this and have understood it for years, why on earth end off with a celebrity; that's what got us in this mess in the 1st place!

  6. Nuclear power plants are finally adding all the power they produce as heat to the global warming. That is why they are not called renewables and there use will be catastrophic for clima change.

  7. If we're honest then the only thing we can do (there is no solution) is to power down. Of course that's not going to happen so we continue to negotiate with non negotiables.

  8. Hmm.
    Let's see.
    Doing an organized Ted talk.. Check..
    The world is in transition to find reliable clean energy…
    Check..
    Nuclear would like to be the next billion dollar utility that people can't get from wind or solar..
    Check..
    My guess this guy is a paid spokesperson that doesn't really care that we STILL after 50 years don't know how to dispose of it's waste that has a millenia long half life of dangerous radiation.
    Nor the exorbitant price tag and build time for each plant.
    6 to 9 billion. Who will foot the bill I wonder?
    The industry or us.
    I sez NO thanks!

  9. solar and wind is just for back up and not as a primary source of energy… Nuclear is safer and it can suffice/or even greater the percentage that solar and wind can give or even combined..

  10. We currently have only Gen III nuclear in America/(most of the world). We discovered Gen IV in the 1970’s and we’ve never used it, despite it being even safer, smaller, cheaper, than the already very safe Gen III nuclear that exists. Gates and Musk are both pro nuclear energy too.

  11. Bury the nuclear waste, bury electric transmission lines …..that will clean up the air and prevent forest fires and power outages from storms .

    Then when technology discovers a use for the nuclear waste we know exactly where it is 🤔

  12. The best place to put solar panels is outside of the atmosphere.

  13. climate change is only a part of our way of live, or should i say way of destroying our environment … so think about this first, than start changing your way of live … the only way we can prevent destroying our beautiful plant is changing our whole way of life. we really dont need that much energy, they just make us believe … and thats his problem too – just generate nuclear power and everything will be fine … its like going to gym everyday but not eating less and healthier. and by the way, there are many other ways of harvesting solar power, you dont have to use photovoltaic panels … and if they had spent all the money for studying solar power instead of nuclear, we would be much better off …

  14. Interesting topic and good food for thought. I don't like the way a lot of the information is presented though. At minute 7:26 the slide says "German carbon emissions have been rising since 2009". This is technically true, but the graph is strongly distortet. It shows an increase from 906 to 916 over a 7 year span, that is a miniscule increase of 1% over 7 years (with economy actually growing). It should actually read German emissions have more or less stagnated since 2009.

  15. I'm not pro nuclear, I remember too much the Chernobyl moments …but I came here with an open mind….one thing that turns me off from the beginning of this video is the repetition of the wording 'global warming' 'Climate change' theme cause to me that is a whole other discussion. Now I can recognise that I may be pre-judging the current re-questioning on nuclear energy, and it that sense, I'll keep listening with an open mind. That aside. I still can't forget that to this day, most of the land surrounding the Chernobyl site is still to this day, uninhabitable. So from there, It's important to maintain in context the topic of nuclear power.

  16. He has not even touched upon Plant load factor !

  17. If properly used and maintained, nuclear energy is the perfect answer to all energy challenges of modern world.

  18. it can be built and managed safely.
    just keep away the bean counters

  19. They still refuse to discuss the huge problem of spent fuel rods. Virtually all nuclear power plants store their highly radioactive spent fuel rods in cooling pools on site. This is a huge security issue. The solution to long term storage of nuclear waste is yet to be found. And the Price Anderson nuclear liability cap needs to be repealed, so that the industry must self insure. If they wont self insure and self finance, that tells us what they thing of the risk.

  20. Just a tweaked in the right direction Talk. Only one example of dozens: He completly skipped Biomass an Hydro Production in Germany. As TED Talks are, the are the opposite of science. Bye forever M. Schellenberger.

  21. SOME PROBLEMS WITH ATOMIC ENERGY: 1. The inevitable every second century super SOLAR STORM, estimated at almost one risk in ten per coming decade, will wreck all power nets and tranport – except by bicycle and sailing boats. Emergency cooling of atomic reactors and spent fuel cooling dams may function some ten days. After that many reactors and all used fuel rods in dry boiled dams will core-melt like almost 5000 Fukushima/ Chernoyls. Close down all natomic reactors now!
    2. Because of the nuclear energy, Pakistan, India and North Korea got their atomic bombs.
    3. After 70years of research no country has any final deposit method or site. Spent fuel in the World is more than 100 000 tons, where a gram can kill you. But the atomic safety boards in the World don't care that refining of fuel-uranium leaves 5 times more toxic and radioactive waste uranium, now more than 2 million tons. Already the first year of the US-Iraq war dumped 3 000 tons of this in Iraq, causing cancers and birth defects.
    4. The purported "peaceful" atomic energy is partly financing new atomic bombs, in the countries that have them. To get high grade concentration of the fuel uranium isotope, atomic energy plants pay military industry for refining. Thus Swedens nuclear power is partly now financing the new Russian atomic bombs, through paying military Rosatom, bomb producers. Earlier Sweden partially financed the French and British nuclear weapons, through La Hague and Sellafield.
    The first step to energy sanity is to get rid of over-consumption, not only building solar and wind power. Soilar paraboles directed at Stirling hot air motors does not require scarce metals. Surplus electricity should be stored as hydrogen. And some half of the cars should be run by hydrogen, not only electricity. All ships should have some sails and wave power arms.
    Greetings from Sweden

  22. 1-in 2 of us will get cancer in our life time, I suppose that's got nothing to do with it either, why don't you people ever listen!

    We don't want it, we would rather sit in the dark, and if you force our hand we will fight you in the streets.

    Like you said nobody wants it, is not popular, so stop dictating these fascist agendas, which do nothing for the people, you're picking out all the good points and none of the bad.

    This technology could destroy us all, how many tonnage of nuclear waste do we have that needs processing, the most deadliest material known to man, that will stay that way for thousands of years.

    This is not a solution, it's grotesque.

    If you want to talk about nuclear power at least be impartial, this is clearly biased

  23. My objection to nukes is that we still do not have a viable way to dispose of the spent fuel. the feds have to force it on a very few states, and there it is still basically being warehoused. along with that is the natural catastrophe threat, such as Fukushima

  24. If it were not for coal, mankind would have chopped down every tree on the planet to burn by now. If it were not for half-educated good-hearted liberals, mankind would have stopped using coal by now.

  25. Canada are CANDU (Canadian Deuterium-Uranium) reactors. These pressurized heavy water reactors use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as a coolant and moderator

  26. Here we all are 4 years later, still scared of glowing in the dark. Nuclear will never win because a simple stigma. It's the answer to all our problems, 30 years ago…

  27. In Germany we call that kind of comparisons Milchmädchenrechnung. You have to include over 250.000 T. of nuclear waste, buried in caves all over the planet and radioactive for 100.000 of years, generations to come. Besides that i would check the source of the science you referring to.

  28. Hello Michael, I am fan of your presentation. Where I can buy this fantastic clean and safe nuclear power plant? Make me a good price.

  29. This was obvious to anyone who understands nuclear power. I've been saying it since the 80's even after Chernobyl. The MSM and politicians and even sometimes the scientists get information wrong and thus we ended up here where MSM still push BS films and TV shows like HBO Chernobyl on us. Glad some people are finally coming around, but is it too late? Well I'd say yes, to reach 1.5 degrees by 2050. It's too late. Nuclear needs to be de-mystified in the public eye and science plus education and public needs to pressure politics to get this back on track. At least China are looking into Thorium Reactors now. Fussion? Well that's ideal, of course, but still awaiting the final breakthroughs needed. Will that come in the next 20 years. Well they've already passed 30 years and we're not there. Nuclear is a beast we know. We must share the tech and get it done.

  30. The picture to click on this looked like an snl skit for jeopardy

  31. Any time anybody says any government official "Invested" money, you are being lied to.

  32. If you take into consideration the environmental impact of nuclear fuel mining, you'll find that a lot of CO2 and other contaminates are produced, which in some studies shows it rivals that from natural gas production of electricity. Adding into that equation the cost of managing the tailings from mining along with the spent fuel, and you have an impossible situation, due to just how long the wastes remain hazardous. No science of today nor the predicted future is capable of engineering storage for nuclear wastes for even a fraction of the time required to keep it from contaminating the environment. But as long as you expect to live only 100 or so years, it won't be your concern, so sure, go ahead and go nuclear.

  33. At four minutes into his talk, the info is wrong!

  34. Nuclear power is insane! This guy is misleading big time!!!

  35. Solar power produced carbon waste? RU insane?

  36. Hard to believe still some scientists advocating Nuclear power. Even though they back up their claims with scholarly references. Nuclear is obsolete, unreliable technology. In my opinion, countries should invest in more renewable energy sources. The production of Nuclear energy and disposal of Nuclear waste has always been dangerous.

  37. Το μυστικο της πεταλουδας. Ολα τα επεισοδια

  38. Sorry sir. Mr. Obama did not invest. America tax payers invest.

  39. Every time i say nuclear is the way to go… crickets but here we go.

  40. I grew up in India and I always thought high of Nuclear Energy even though there is ample of sun light there because land is precious there due to over population. Unfortunately India was not allowed to develop nuclear power due to this misguided global activism Also India developed its own nuclear weapons since its other neighboring country (arch nemesis) who developed more capability by virtue of being ally of America. They decided to stop Uranium access for India. It was hard growing up there- we had long power cuts. Once I burnt my hair in candle light because I was trying to finish my work. Matter of fact still many are living around the globe under similar condition. Globally we have to think what we are asking for, will help whole humanity or not. Why people are lining up around the borders of developed countries?

  41. This is hands down one of the most informative technology videos on youtube.

  42. Using nuclear generated energy adds more energy to the earth in addition to the energy which comes from the sun. This will eventually become heat and will cause the earth to heat up. The earth will continue to heat up in order to radiate away the excess energy.

    So to be clear, nuclear power will lead to the earth warming up.

  43. We haven't yet wondered how much of all this anti-nuclear rhetoric (you know, being against nuclear power "in principle") has actually been fueled by some less noble competing industries, like the oil and coal industries.

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