Nuclear power is cheap, efficient, carbon neutral, and available on demand. I’m all for increased efficiency and alternatives like wind, solar, and geothermal. However, if we’re serious about substantially reducing our GHG emission in a very short time, nuclear is the only way to go.
As far as safety concerns, these are unwarranted. Sure, Chernobyl reactor #3 blew up, but even in this worst-case scenario, the damage and contamination was RELATIVELY minor. So minor, in fact, that the other reactors in the Chernobyl plant went on operating for decades. On top of that, refusing to construct new nuclear plants because a Soviet RBMK reactor blew up is like refusing to ride in a brand-new Volvo because the first Model T was unsafe. A quick Google search will reveal many websites which detail the ineptitude and carelessness of Chernobyl plant operators, the lack of common-sense safety systems in the reactor design, and the substantial improvements in newer reactor designs which make a similar scenario not only highly unlikely, but physically impossible.
The other common objection is dealing with nuclear waste, which is a concern that is rapidly becoming obsolete. We don’t even really need Yucca Mountain any more – fast breeder reactors burn up nearly all of the radioactive waste and convert it to usable energy.
So, why do these Luddites – which, I’m sorry to say, are mostly on the left – continue to oppose the construction of new nuclear power plants? Is it mere ignorance? Perhaps misconceptions regarding the capabilities of modern reactors and the erstwhile arms race? Or do they just hate the thought of any sort of energy source which relies on extracting physical resources from the earth?
A nuclear holocaust? I think you’re grossly exaggerating the risks involved. Am I really to believe that all, or at least a substantial portion, of the nuclear reactors on the planet are going to melt down simultaneously?! Get a grip, man.
- Solar Power: Why Are People So Ignorant About The Safety Of Nuclear Power Plants? (11/16/2011)
- Solar Producer: Why Not Supporting The Nuclear Energy? (7/26/2011)
- Solar Producer: Germany Plans To Abandon Nuclear Energy By 2022? (11/16/2011)
- Solar Products: Physics? Am I Correct? (7/17/2011)
- are Nuclear Power Plant considered “green energy”?