Nuclear is the safest energy source! Really!

Many people hate nuclear power because they think it is too dangerous [2,10]. But are they right? It seems not [2,5,9]. Per Kilowatt hour (that is, per unit of energy), coal and oil cause 250x to 470x more deaths than nuclear energy [2,5]. This includes deaths from nuclear accidents [2]! While tens of thousands died through the nuclear accident at Chernobyl [2], many more people die from air pollution from coal [8]. In fact, nuclear energy _prevented_ about 1.8 million air pollution-related deaths between 1976 and 2009 [1]!

Renewables like wind and solar don’t cause air pollution, but without better batteries to store the energy they generate, they cannot easily provide energy when the Sun doesn’t shine and there’s no wind [3,4,11]. For as long as we don’t have cheap and sustainable batteries, we need fossil fuels or nuclear energy [12,13]. Of these two, nuclear is clearly much safer [2,5]. NASA agrees that Nuclear should be “significantly expanded” [5].

But what about nuclear waste? Even though disposing of radioactive waste safely is a problem that is not yet properly solved [7], using nuclear power still seems safer than continuing to release CO2 from burning fossil fuels [2,5,6].

References

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