By Rebecca Moore
When people hear the word nuclear, images of mushroom clouds and burned faces probably come to mind. At minimum, it's a negative association. Nuclear power means reactor accidents like Chrynobl and Japan.
It's election season, and nuclear power has already come up and likely will again. Whether or not anyone focuses on something that is an normal issue when we could talk about the horrifying idea of Ted Cruz sleeping around or Drumpf's failed Vodka company is yet to be seen, but if it does, here's some facts about nuclear power that need to be brought to the public's attention.
1. Nuclear power is safe.
The reality of the matter is more people die on a regular basis from accidents related to the production of energy from coal, gas, or hydro electricity than nuclear power. Not only are the lives lost per kilowatt produced lower, it also is clean energy, which means the other detrimental health effects, such as asthma that come from prolonged exposure to gas, oil, and coal are much smaller.
2. Nuclear power is green.
No I don't mean radioactive glowing green. As afore mentioned, nuclear power is clean, which means it's carbon footprint is much smaller than other energy sources. With lower greenhouse gas emissions produced, and not needing to drill for natural resources, it is a long term, sustainable energy solution.
3. Nuclear power is cost effective
According to the Institute of Energy Research, nuclear energy costs 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour. This is the lowest in comparison coal, being 3.23 cents, natural gas at 4.51 cents, and petroleum costing a whopping 21.56 cents.
With other alternative energy sources, such as wind, there are seeming environmental benefits, but nuclear provides the best economic option.
4. Nuclear power is already in widespread use in other countries.
There are currently only four countries, including France, that use nuclear power as their main source of energy, but there are many more who use it as a supplementary power source. The United States is one of these countries, and the plants that exist through out the world are proving very beneficial to the countries they reside in.
Nuclear power of course needs to have regulations that will keep everyone who uses it safe, but the reality is its largest problem is with public opinion, and not the technology itself. We have a responsibility to find real solutions to our growing energy crisis, and this could very well be it.
Go research. Learn about the benefits, the draw backs, the long term affects. But don't just assume that it should be taken of the table without being informed on what it really is.
(Image via trinitynews.ie)