Because of the small land and mining footprint, emissions free power, and waste management standards, nuclear power is the most scalable and environmentally friendly energy source on earth.
The knowledge and intellectual property developed at universities, national labs, and in the private sector has the potential to solve some of the largest challenges the world faces.
There are nearly 50 advanced nuclear companies developing plans for advanced nuclear energy. These plants hold the potential to decarbonize our society while providing clean water, creating medical isotopes to fight cancer, and lifting the developing world out of poverty. Some designs even use recycled fuel from the current generation of reactors, reducing waste stockpiles.
Nuclear power provides high paying jobs and tax revenue to our communities. Many jobs in nuclear power are among the highest paying jobs available to people without a college degree, and the industry is a leading employer of veterans.
When a nuclear plant in Zion, IL closed in 1998 their community lost $18 million in annual property taxes from the plant the tax burden shifted to local businesses and residents, ballooning their taxes from 8.7% in ‘98, to 21.5% today. When the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed in Vernon, VT, they had to lay off the entire police force and secure outside contracts to keep the town safe.
Nuclear energy keeps us strong and safe, both domestically and abroad. In 2014, during the polar vortex, natural gas plants froze up and couldn’t deliver electricity when needed. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, conventional power plants, wind turbines, and solar panels didn’t stand a chance, but South Texas Project Generating Station continued to provide uninterrupted energy for hospitals and emergency responders.
Meanwhile, our nuclear submarines and carriers continue to be a source of stability in the world, assisting with natural disasters, keeping merchant vessels safe, and facilitating global trade.
All methods of producing energy have risks. Nuclear is statistically the safest. Every year, millions of people die from coal pollution, and workplace deaths in from other generation sources generate casualties at a higher rate than nuclear.
Well, there’s not that much. In fact, all of the nuclear waste ever produced from commercial power generation could fit on a football field about 24 feet high. You could fit all of the waste from your entire lifetime of energy consumption in a 12oz Coke can. We can safely store it in dry casks until we’re ready to recycle it in advanced reactors.
Though often not included with wind and solar, nuclear is technically renewable thanks to uranium extraction from seawater. Even without mining our oceans for Uranium, we have enough Uranium and Thorium for well over 100,000 years.
Renewables play an important role in decarbonizing our energy portfolio, but they can’t do it alone. Studies have shown that decarbonizing with renewables is slower than with nuclear, so we need all the clean energy we can get. Carbon emissions in many countries correlate strongly with nuclear capacity.
Besides, replacing all energy production with renewables would require the mining of 275 million metric tons of copper (100% of the worldwide copper production) for 14 years. As environmentalists, we can’t support that level of mining and habitat destruction when we have better options.
Sometimes intentional lying to confuse, sometimes simply repeating incorrect information. There are a lot of myths about nuclear energy that are still perpetuated by the press, pop culture, and word of mouth. That’s why we’re here, and why we need you.
There are powerful forces against nuclear power. Anti-nuclear groups like Greenpeace and others have successfully blocked nuclear construction from happening and pushed regulations that hurt nuclear. These efforts are encouraged, and sometimes financed by the American Petroleum Institute... Big Oil.
Why?: They understand that wind and solar only generate power around 25% of the time, ensuring they will have plenty of opportunity to operate their gas-fired plants.