The nuclear option

More

We spent most of our time in Phnom Penh with the development community, including the extremely sharp and friendly people at the World Bank. There we discussed Cambodia's dire electricity needs--only about 10-15% of the population is connected to the grid.

Despite being a country of rivers, Cambodia is too flat to have a lot of good unexploited hydro. There are rumors about oil and natural gas, but they're still in the "fond hope" stage. How will Cambodia develop adequate electricity supplies? Coal is certainly on the table; they don't have their own deposits, but it's cheap to import from neighbors.

Why not nuclear? We asked. The World Bank doesn't support nuclear, though it's not clear why. Geopolitically, of course, there are proliferation concerns, and questions about whether developing countries can safely manage a nuclear plant. On the other side of the ledger, however, is the fact that without nuclear, all these developing countries are going to be dumping a gigantic load of carbon into the atmosphere. Shouldn't we at least be thinking hard about safer reactors for the developing world?

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In