San Onfre closed in Jan. 2012. Natural gas generation that year went up through July 2012 by 24% when compared to the same period of 2011. Electricity imports through July 2012 were approximately 90 percent higher than in the first half of 2011. Here's the generation profile for that period:
Compare the renewables' slice after closing San Onfre to the same period the previous year.
"As I recently detailed in an online article for The Progressive, atomic energy adds to rather than reduces global warming."
It looks like the commenters at that article have already pointed out its main defects. Yes, atomic energy production does release some CO2, and so, strictly speaking, "adds" to global warming, but the same can be said of wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower production. Indeed, every major energy production option we have involves some release of CO2. But some are far worse than others, so we can still choose the options which add the least and try to displace those that add the most. And on that count, nuclear is roughly as low carbon as the leading renewable options, and has at least as much potential to displace fossil generation.
"All reactors emit Carbon-14."
True, at roughly 2 grams per year from a gigawatt-scale pressurized water reactor and less than 4 grams per year per gigawatt boiling water reactor. All the reactors of the world release less CO2 from C-14 in a year than would be released by burning one gallon of gasoline. This is tiny even compared to the annual CO2 footprint of just one Naomi Klein, or Al Gore, or Leonardo DiCaprio, and I don't see anyone hyperventilating over their CO2 output. (Not even when DiCaprio took the super-yacht Topaz to Brazil to attend World Cup Soccer--a ship which can consume more than $5000 worth of fuel per hour, emitting some 2700 tons of CO2 per tank-load--which would be way more than a hundred-million gigawatt-years worth of CO2 from nuclear C-14 emissions.)
"The fuel they burn demands substantial CO2 emissions in the mining, milling, and enrichment processes."
The nebulous word there is "substantial". Here's a study which investigated the actual quantity:
Bottom line: "Canadian uranium mining-milling contributed only 1.1 g CO2e/kWh to total life cycle GHG emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle" (Compare this to the grid average of 768 g CO2e/kWh--a mix which already includes hydro)
I actually agree the kind of nuclear power we use now is a dead end and is not likely to grow much beyond where we are now, but it just seems way premature to be celebrating the victory of the Solartopian revolution at this point. That's like spiking the football about 95 yards short of the goal line. Renewables and today's nuclear put together are still not enough to keep fossil fuel consumption from increasing year after year. And until we come up with cheaper, mass-produced reactors or cheap bulk grid-storage, they aren't likely to for at least another decade. There are differences of opinion about which alternative options have the best shot at success, but I don't see much point to the debate when it would be relatively cheap to develop all of them and let the best options win on their merits.