Nuclear Power Now
Nuclear power is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants, such as sulfur and particulates, or greenhouse gases. The use of nuclear power in place of other energy sources helps to keep the air clean, preserve the Earth's climate, avoid ground-level ozone formation and prevent acid rain.
Nuclear power has important implications for our national security. Inexpensive nuclear power, in combination with fuel cell techology, could significantly reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
Nuclear power plants have experienced an admirable safety record. About 20% of electricity generated in the U.S. comes from nuclear power, and in the last forty years of this production, not one single fatality has occurred as a result of the operation of a civilian nuclear power plant in the United States. In comparison, many people die in coal mining accidents every year and approximately ten thousand Americans die every year from pollution related to coal burning.
The nuclear power industry generates approximately 2,000 tons of solid waste annually in the United States. In comparison, coal fueled power plants produce 100,000,000 tons of ash and sludge annually, and this ash is laced with poisons such as mercury and nitric oxide.
Even this 2,000 tons of nuclear waste is not a technical problem. Reprocessing of nuclear fuel, and the implementation of Integral Fast Reactor technology, will enable us to turn the vast majority of what is currently considered waste into energy.
Unfortunately, the voting public has been victimized by forty years of misinformation regarding the safety of nuclear power. The graphs on nuclear energy showing it to be safe, economical, and in our national interest are countered by anti-nuclear activists using fear tactics to frighten the electorate into inaction.
Until we can successfully educate the American electorate on the real pros and cons of nuclear power, we will not be able to engage in a healthy national discussion on the topic.
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