Isn't Nuclear Power Dangerous?

Mar 29, 2024
Isn't Nuclear Power Dangerous?

.Nuclear Power is Highly Politicized, Making It Difficult to Understand the Legitimate Dangers of Nuclear Power

Jeff is ignoring the very legitimate concern about the dangers posed by radioactive fuel, the many, many thousands of years it persists and the total failure by U.S. government to provide for its safe disposal. It is currently scattered all around the country in unsafe conditions at nuclear plants because of the lack of safe disposal. It is not irrational for people to worry about this and not want to see anymore nuclear power until this problem is solved. — David K.

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in with this important point regarding yesterday’s issue of Outer Limits — Has the Tide Turned on Nuclear Power. I could have written pages about this particular topic, managing radioactive waste, and spent fuel rods, and I agree it is an important topic.

In fact, it’s the primary reason that I believe that nuclear fusion as opposed to nuclear fission is the smartest path forward for both nuclear power and clean energy.

We’ll recall that nuclear fusion is not nuclear fission. It’s a common misunderstanding.

Nuclear fission is what most people mean when they talk about nuclear energy. It’s the process splitting an atom’s nucleus into two or more smaller nuclei, which produces energy.

Nuclear fusion, on the other hand — a favorite topic of mine — is the kind of energy produced by the Sun. This happens when two hydrogen nuclei merge together, unleashing a huge amount of energy.

The problem concerning this issue of radioactive waste and spent fuel rods is that it is so politicized by those who do not understand that the safe management and storage is a problem that has been solved. Both the storage technology and processes are available today. But too many political factions spread false information suggesting that it is not.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had/has a plan in place for safe, long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. But again, politics — not technology — have gotten in the way of doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, in the absence of long-term storage facilities, spent fuel is stored at power plant sites. It is safe to do so, but it is not a permanent solution.

All of this is terribly unfortunate, and it has held back clean energy production and resulted in more emissions, not less, because of the need to continue reliance on coal, natural gas, and even oil for electricity production.

If those who are governing us are not willing to be rational, put politics aside, and get this done, then why not just make the shift to aggressively invest in and commercialize nuclear fusion as the clean energy technology of choice?

Unlike nuclear fission, a key advantage of fusion over fission is that it can produce energy with minimal and even no radioactive waste.

You May Also Enjoy...

Previous Post Next Post