The place of nuclear power in our energy provision is one of the most intricate debates in modern energy policy. In the aftermath of a handful of high profile and high-risk nuclear disasters, many are wary of expanding the use of the controversial energy source. Paradoxically, it also presents one of the most sustainable and efficient forms of energy concurrently with debates surrounding climate change and environmental responsibility. Can the energy source be a viable and safe path forward?
Nuclear energy is not safe
Nuclear energy has the potential to cause catastrophe. That potential alone is enough for nuclear energy to be considered unsafe.
There are currently no safe options for storing nuclear waste
When nuclear fuel is no longer usable, it is referred to as nuclear waste. This waste is still highly radioactive and dangerous for tens of thousands of years. Nuclear reactors are constantly generating this waste without long-term disposal solutions.
Modern advances in reactor design have rendered nuclear energy safe.
Nuclear energy is sustainable
Nuclear energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy for the environment. Not only does it emit no greenhouse gasses, but the amount of energy produced is orders of magnitude more efficient than coal and natural gas.
Nuclear plants have the very highest safety standards
Despite some terrible early setbacks, nuclear plants are now some of the safest facilities on the planet. Particularly in the US, nuclear power plants have many safety and security measures to mitigate fallout, even in the case of disaster.