Why is nuclear power safe?

Evidence over six decades shows that nuclear energy is a safe means of generating electricity. The risk of accidents at nuclear power plants is low and. Nuclear energy is a clean energy source with no emissions. Despite public concerns, the data clearly show that nuclear energy is a much safer source of energy than fossil fuels.

Recent innovations could soon reduce risks even further. Study after study in major scientific journals found that nuclear power plants are by far the safest way to produce reliable electricity. So why are we so afraid of them? Nuclear power sources are dangerous because they emit particles of radiation and energy released from unstable molecules that try to calm down. Those radioactive missiles can impact the human body and damage cells or DNA, says David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A sufficient amount of radiation will cause cancer or, possibly, even transmit genetic mutations to your children. Too much can kill you directly. The distinction between these two aspects of environmentalism is the cause of a gap within the scientific community around nuclear energy. A fundamental principle of the operation of nuclear power plants around the world is that the operator is responsible for safety.

Clarke, who helped write reports for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is not a staunch supporter of nuclear energy, but says it's a valuable option if we really want to achieve carbon neutrality. For low-lying sites, civil engineering and other measures are usually taken to make nuclear plants resistant to flooding. These comprehensive and transparent nuclear risk and safety assessments, the so-called stress tests, involved a specific reassessment of the safety margins of each power reactor in the light of extreme natural events, such as earthquakes and floods, as well as loss of safety functions and serious accidents administration after any start up event. The whole premise of nuclear energy is based on the assumption that nothing calamitous will happen again in human history.

For example, they originally said that a nuclear reactor would only experience one core damage event every 10,000 reactor years. 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. They demonstrate that nuclear reactors would be more resistant to such attacks than virtually any other civilian installation (see Appendix). Subsequently, radioactive material was released along with several chemical explosions, which were initiated by the immense heat released by nuclear reactions.

In fairness, the article is called “Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Energy”, not “Embracing Nuclear Energy Without Further Questions.” The IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) was developed during a series of expert-level meetings from 1992 to 1994 and was the result of considerable work by Governments, national nuclear safety authorities and the IAEA Secretariat. However, the difference is that what is at stake with nuclear energy is much greater than what is at stake with other energy sources.