In 1973, the oil-producing countries, speaking through their cartel, OPEC, hit us with a full-scale oil embargo, and the whole world was faced with the same decision-making dilemma we're now puzzling over. Wouldn't it be useful to review what we decided to do then, and how it all worked out?
This is not a new situation. We poured money and development into all the available options, with the lion's share of the subsidies going to sun, wind, and "refined coal," on a per-kilowatt-hour basis.*
36 years later, with people still raising false fears about TMI and "nuclear waste"--neither of which ever hurt anyone, the only energy source that reliably and affordably met all the requirements, and is still pouring energy into the grid, is nuclear!
Do we have to start all over again every 36 years, trying to overlook the lessons we learned? We know how to build some of the old standbys. We ought to build 100 or more of them, just like we did in the 20 years between 1970 and 1990. At the same time, we can try to come up with designs that are simpler, cheaper, etc. And continue to develop the best breeding cycle, to recover fissionable material and create new fissionable material, by recycling and processing the used fuel.
*Refined Coal; $29.81, Solar: $24.34, Wind: $23.37, Nuclear: $1.59, all per megawatt-hour.
From Energy Information Administration, SR/OAIF/99-03 and SR/EMEU/ 92-02..