When nuclear opponents demand the shutdown of reliable power plants, their response to the replacement power problem is often renewable power. However, we are setting ourselves up for enormous setbacks if we remove nuclear power from the grid and expect wind and solar to fill the void.
In his most recent blog, Environmental Progress President Michael Shellenberger points out the problems with relying solely on renewable sources and how nuclear power is essential to protecting the planet against greenhouse gas emissions.
“Nuclear power is also by far the safest way to generate reliable energy, according to every major study published over the last 50 years. Even the worst nuclear accidents result in far fewer deaths than the normal operation of fossil fuel power plants. That’s because of the toxic smoke released by burning fossil fuels. According to the World Health Organization, the resulting air pollution from this and burning biomass kills seven million people every year. Nuclear power plants, by contrast, produce significant pollutants only when radioactive particles escape as a result of accidents. These are exceedingly rare, and when they do occur, so little radioactive material is released that vanishingly few people are exposed to it.”
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