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sbiewald3060199dIf I remember it right, we can kill ourselves with nuclear explosives at least since the 60s or 70s.
Jilano23506199dHonestly, climate change is already a problem. Looks what happened/is happening in Europe right now. We never had those kind of temperatures/weather before.
endor5816199dHint: regular nuclear power plants don't explode like that.
And yes, details DO matter.
As for real power plants, Chernobyl was a long time ago, and in a much worse political climate.
And Fukushima, while it could have been avoided, was still pretty well contained.
Nuclear power is very safe when done right.
We possess the knowledge to do things right.
It's just a matter of not being too greedy.
And while solar/wind may seem like better alternatives, they still have a large pollution footprint - just at a different point in the manufacturing process (especially solar).
Nuclear energy is a great resource, but it has been greatly tarnished by stupid and/or greedy fearmongering.
I honestly think the battle to rejuvenate fission power in the West is lost. Luckily, wind and solar look like they'll get cheap enough quickly enough that we might just make it.
But what a lost opportunity. It is the safest (yes, including Chernobyl) and smallest land footprint power source we have, and even now, it is competitive in price with wind.
I am fairly confident that a lot of the environment anti-nuclear power activism over the last forty years was fomented by the fossil fuel industry.
@M1sf3t Straying somewhat, but the main reason solar and wind are deadly is that they are relatively low intensity power sources, and so the accident rate per GWh is high — just from manufacturing, installing and maintaining them.
I understand the concern about the risk to people living near a nuclear reactor in the case of an accident. Historically though, the observed risk is really low, and that risk is due to Chernobyl. Coal, by contrast, kills at astonishing 60 people per TWh of generated electricity, before we even consider the effects of climate change.
@halfflat Also, at coal plants isotopes get concentrated as the fuel is burned. These isotopes are radioactive. Because nobody is concerned about radiation or radioactive particles at a coal plant there is higher exposure. I have no idea if anyone has done studies to see if these particles cause cancer. They have cleaned up coal plants quite a bit though. So maybe somebody understood this.
Yup, coal is outright the worst way we are generating power at scale. We can add to the list: land use and environment contamination from coal tailings and fly ash landfill. And these heavy metals have a half life of forever.
Wait, are we talking about nuclear power or nucular power? ;-)
cst19922312199dI think the concern about nuclear accidents is overblown. Look at hydrogen plant/tank explosions or chemical plant leaks. Are they not just accidents, and not deadly to the people around them?