Nuclear energy is often misunderstood and misrepresented in pop culture. But the truth is that it is a clean, safe, and reliable energy source. In this article, I will debunk nine myths about nuclear energy and explain the facts. When I was anti-nuclear, my main concerns were safety and waste.
Later I learned that nuclear energy is only slightly less safe than wind, hydro, and solar. More importantly, it is much safer than any fossil energy, once air pollution and accidents are taken into account. All countries operating nuclear power plants have a nuclear safety inspection, and all of them work closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Already in the late 1970s, the United Kingdom's Central Electricity Generation Board considered the possibility of a large, fully charged and fueled passenger aircraft being deliberately hijacked and crashed into a nuclear reactor.
To achieve optimal safety, nuclear plants in the Western world operate with a “defense in depth” approach, with multiple safety systems that complement the natural characteristics of the reactor core. The other class of reactors that has been the focus of international attention for safety improvements is the first generation of VVER-440 pressurized water reactors. As for waste disposal, there are several options available. One of them is to store it in deep geological repositories. This method has been used in Finland since 1992 and is considered to be safe for thousands of years.
Another option is to recycle nuclear waste into fuel for new reactors. This process reduces the amount of waste by up to 95%.Greenpeace has organized many protests against nuclear energy, and WWF has argued that the world needs renewable energy but not nuclear. However, contrary to popular belief, nuclear energy saves lives by displacing fossil fuels from the electricity mix. Duke Energy generates power from a diverse mix of fuel sources, including wind and solar, and operates six nuclear plants. Some scientists have proposed replacing 100% of the world's fossil-fuel power plants with nuclear reactors as a way to solve climate change.
Others propose nuclear cultivation to meet up to 20 percent of all our energy needs (not just electricity). They advocate that nuclear energy is a “clean and carbon-free” source of energy, but they do not observe the human impacts of these scenarios. As nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in many countries, the world risks a sharp decline in its use in advanced economies, which could result in billions of tons of additional carbon emissions. But such claims are simply the truth: only one death has been linked to the merger of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and that figure is even debated. In conclusion, nuclear energy is much safer than its reputation implies. It's also clean and reliable, but power plants are being phased out around the world due to misperceptions about many things, including nuclear energy.
To ensure optimal safety, countries operating nuclear power plants have a nuclear safety inspection and work closely with the IAEA. As for waste disposal, there are several options available such as deep geological repositories or recycling it into fuel for new reactors. Nuclear energy saves lives by displacing fossil fuels from the electricity mix. It can also be used to meet up to 20 percent of all our energy needs (not just electricity). Despite its uncertain future in many countries due to misperceptions about it, only one death has been linked to the merger of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.