I believe that nuclear power, used in a safe, controlled manner, will be absolutely critical in creating a more sustainable future for us all.
|Yea, pretty much this. Sans the Fallout vibes that the text gives me.|
Certainly, this statement will incite anger and doubt among many who know me as a sustainability advocate. But I firmly believe that my support for carefully regulated nuclear power and a sustainable future are NOT mutually exclusive. Not at all.
There are those who believe that nuclear power is inherently dangerous, and that it has no place whatsoever in a clean-energy based future. I respectfully disagree with those people. Wind, solar, hydroelectric, along with other sources of renewable or clean energy, will all play large roles in power generation in the future. But a steady, safe (when done right) source of clean energy like nuclear power will be absolutely critical in replacing the massive amounts of coal that are currently used as the primary mode of power generation.
My claim that nuclear power is “clean” or “safe” will also cause controversy-but when made and inspected correctly, modern nuclear reactors have an absurdly low risk of failure. People will be quick to point out Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, but 3 incidents out of nearly 50 years of nuclear power....where all three were caused by incredibly extenuating circumstances and outdated reactor technology. Our efforts should be focused on preventing oil spills, fracking, and other dangerous activities that occur with far more regularity than nuclear accidents.
Cleaning and disposing of nuclear waste certainly is an issue, but technologies such as breeder reactors can help solve that problem while generating massive amounts of clean power.
Simply put, I believe that continual blocking of nuclear power will seriously hurt the transition away from dirty fossil fuels and only exacerbate anthropogenic climate change (while also hindering the transition to a more sustainable future).
For more reading, which goes more in depth on my beliefs, I highly recommend checking out these two articles: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/are_fast-breeder_reactors_a_nuclear_power_panacea/2557/
If you have comments, questions, or want to argue with me, feel free to send me emails/post such inquiries in the comments.