PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER
ENERGY DREAM COME TRUE, OR NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE?
Few debates stir emotions as intensely as the pros and cons of nuclear power. Is it an energy dream come true, or nuclear nightmare? In many people’s minds, there is no middle ground. For most of us, though, there is a great deal of uncertainty.
Both sides can’t be right, so let’s examine the pros and cons of nuclear power one point at a time using a dialogue style format. We’ll present an overview of the arguments along with resource links so you can delve as deeply as you like into each aspect. The safety aspect is subdivided into four components: accidental nuclear release, nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and long-term nuclear waste storage.
We will examine the following points:
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Fusion Vs Fission -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Cleanliness -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Radiation Concerns -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Proliferation Concerns -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Terrorism Concerns -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Waste Containment Concerns -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Costs -
Prosand Cons of Nuclear Power Necessity -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Resource Limits -
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Plant Location -
Here’s what each side is saying.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER - FUSION Vs FISSION
is the combining of two elemental atoms, typically hydrogen, to form a larger atom, helium. In the process of combining the two atoms into one, a huge amount of heat is released. The hope for fusion power is unlimited, clean, and radiation free (for the most part) energy.
Nuclear fusion reactor technology is still in the research stages and, by most accounts, decades away from any practical application. Should that change, we will add details.
The balance of this discussion will focus on fission reactors. The process that generates heat in contemporary nuclear reactors is
, or the splitting of atoms. When an atom is split it releases huge amounts of heat. The heat is used to make steam that drives turbines. The turbines then turn generators that produce electricity.
Fission reactors use refined uranium and plutonium to generate heat. Both of these elements are highly radioactive and tend to remain that way for millennia. That long-term radioactivity is at the heart of concerns about nuclear power.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER CLEANLINESS
The Nuclear Energy Option
, by Bernard L. Cohen, Professor-Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy and of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh
All of that coal feeds 600 coal-fired power plants that generate over half of U.S electrical power needs. As detailed by the
Clean Air Task Force
, the coal burned in those plants generates some 274,000 tons of waste every day. Those wastes contain nearly every element known including sulfur, chromium, mercury, lead, arsenic, and uranium.
Coal ash contains an average of 12ppm (parts per million) of uranium according to
U.S. Department of Energy Uranium Data
. That means that coal-burning power plants are generating some 3.3 tons of uranium waste every day and dumping it into the environment.
The weekly discharge of uranium into the environment from coal is far more than the total environmental release of uranium by the nuclear power industry in its entire 50-year history. And that includes release from the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Nuclear power is clean. Coal powered generation daily waste accumulation of 274, 000 tons is greater than the total U.S. nuclear waste generated in the 50 year history of the nuclear power industry.
Further, the fossil fuel that is consumed by the nuclear industry would also be consumed by other energy industries, like solar and wind turbines, to build, install, and maintain their products. And those technologies would permanently occupy land areas a hundred times larger than those occupied by nuclear facilities.
[Note: The numbers vary but one nuclear power plant can deliver 1,200 megawatts on a land area of roughly 200 acres. To equal that output solar collectors would occupy about 10,000 acres, if we use peak production numbers from midday with no clouds. To account for the fact that the sun doesn’t shine all of the time, the actual number of solar collectors would be more than double that amount. Using advanced 6 megawatt wind turbines (with blade diameters exceeding 270’ or 90 meters) would require 2,000 turbines, if the wind blew constantly. Since the wind doesn’t blow constantly we would need at least 4,000 such turbines to match the continuous output of one nuclear power plant.]
Finally, nuclear power can provide the electricity needed to end coal power pollution, greatly reduce auto pollution, and eliminate oil imports. Hybrid, plug in vehicles coming onto the market now can be plugged into household electrical supplies and reduce fossil fuel consumption by over half and maybe as much as 90%.
In Chapter 3, Section 4 of Bernard Cohen’s, The Nuclear Energy Option mentioned above, Dr. Cohen details the ghastly effects on our population from air pollution. The bottom line of those effects is 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S. from air pollution. We can and must do better.
We don’t have to wait several decades for the so-called hydrogen economy to catch on. We don’t have to wait for solar and wind technologies to become competitive, if they ever do. We have the technology to eliminate air, soil, and water pollution now. And we need to put that technology to work now.
Opponents: Strip-mined land can never be restored to original condition. And the so-called good stewardship from mining industries sounds good on paper but falls far short in practice.
Dr. Cohen’s, The Nuclear Energy Option (Chapter 3, Section 5),
also documents that over a million acres of strip-mined land is awaiting reclamation. He points out that: Coal is often washed just outside the mine to remove foreign materials, and the waste material from this washing is piled up in unsightly heaps.
In 1983 there were 177,000 acres of these waste banks in the United States, the great majority in Appalachia. Many of these waste banks catch fire and burn, serving as yet another source of air pollution.
Is this the ‘good stewardship’ from the mining industry that nuclear advocates talk about?
Those pollution sources add to the death toll from coal. It needs to be clearly understood that environmentalists are also against coal powered electrical generation as it is used today. The notion that nuclear poison should be substituted for coal poison is appalling.
Environmentalists around the world agree that we can meet our energy needs with renewable energy sources, and good conservation. These methods may not be the most painless, or cheapest, but they are the safest by far. Coal and nuclear both need to go.
In addition, renewable technologies do not need to occupy millions of acres of vacant land as some suggest. Solar collectors placed on millions of existing rooftops would require no additional land use. And a huge amount of electricity can be generated by off shore wind turbines that would also require no land.
Advocates: While some electricity can be generated with solar and wind with no additional land use, it would fall far short of demand. And the cost of either solar or wind energy is far greater than other, conventional forms of energy production, including nuclear.
Shutting down either coal or nuclear power plants is not an option. While it’s true that coal emissions do cause lung disease and other illnesses, and the rare radiation leaks may have caused cancer, it is also true that eliminating our means of providing energy to modern civilization would cost many more millions of lives.
Beyond just a high standard of living, our very lives depend on adequate energy supplies as is evident by the fact that average life spans in third world nations are decades shorter than those in industrialized nations.
Further, if the nuclear power industry were as dirty as some opponents suggest, then it would never have won the support of leading environmentalists , including the founder of Greenpeace and the former chairman of Friends of the Earth. They have endorsed nuclear energy as the only large-scale, non-emitting, affordable energy source that can address both global warming and sustainable development”
Opponents: Individuals are entitled to their opinion, but both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, along with a multitude of scientists and engineers in both of those organizations, continue to oppose nuclear power and support renewable energy and conservation as the best, safest means of supplying adequate energy supplies to modern civilization.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER RADIATION CONCERNS
Opponents – Nuclear power always carries the risk radioactive release. Radioactive materials used for nuclear fuel are the most lethal substances in existence. They are unique in that they are the only toxic materials that can kill without contact. Nuclear power is dirty in the worst way imaginable because radioactive release is the worst kind of pollution imaginable.
Advocates: Nuclear materials do require special handling, but more than 50 years of working experience has created a nuclear power industry safety record second to none.
Radioactive materials, like many other materials, are safe so long as they are properly handled.
Opponents: When nuclear materials aren’t properly handled, people die en masse. Proponents like to use averages when discussing nuclear safety issues. Averages don’t mean anything to people who live, and die, around places like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Those people continue to pay the ultimate price for radiation exposure.
Advocates: Chernobyl happened because the reactor was not in a containment structure. The reactor at Three Mile Island, like all U.S. reactors, was in a containment structure and the only atmospheric release was a controlled, minimal release. Also, new reactor technology is providing safety margins so high as to make the systems almost foolproof.
Opponents: There have been many more
Releases of Radioactive Materials
besides Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, though those two are the most infamous. Every time there is a release, all life forms are harmed. Scientific opinion worldwide now agrees that any exposure above normal background levels can be extremely dangerous, even lethal.
Humanity is well aware of foolproof safety systems like the unsinkable Titanic and the Challenger that was to lead the way to safe space flight. Civilization has no business investing in nuclear technology that is so destructive and lethal when ‘foolproof’ systems fail.
The Critical Hour
documents case after case of life threatening problems such as aging reactors with weakening structures creating small radiation leaks, uranium mill waste contamination, problems with the new, so-called ultra safe reactors, concerns about future catastrophic failures in aging reactor equipment, and much more.
Problem after problem with virtually every aspect of nuclear power remains hidden from the public eye, until one of those many problems results in a radiation release into our environment, and the inevitable deaths that follow.
Advocates: No technology is perfectly safe or foolproof. But the nuclear power industry has been working for 50 years and constantly improving every aspect of the operation.
Even accounting for the mistakes of the past, nuclear power has proven to be among the safest of power sources, especially in the U.S. If we don’t meet our energy needs, we run the risk of moving technologically backwards, and that would lead to chaos.
Opponents: And we need to meet those needs with conservation and renewable energy resources.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER PROLIFERATION CONCERNS
Opponents: Another radiation concern beyond accidental release from nuclear power plants is weapons grade materials that can get into the wrong hands.
Nuclear Proliferation is yet another nightmare aspect of nuclear power. In a world that desperately wants to outlive the nuclear weapons age, we have machines that readily generate nuclear bomb materials.
It’s not bad enough that reactors make plutonium, but enriched uranium can also be used in nuclear bombs. Since those materials are so conveniently at hand, it only follows that governments with access to them will set aside some of those materials for use in nuclear weapons, regardless of what may be agreed to in treaties.
In addition to the countries that already have nuclear weapons, a number of others are working to obtain them. The technology to build nuclear bombs is widely known and many posses the means to do so. All that is needed is enriched uranium or plutonium.
Advocates: Materials from nuclear reactors are extremely difficult to refine to weapons grade quality. These materials can be made even more difficult to refine by mixing more benign materials in with them.
Most countries voluntarily operate nuclear facilities within the restrictions and oversight of the
International Atomic Energy Agency
under the U.N. Uncontrolled use is far more likely to happen in countries that are not party to IAEA oversight.
Let’s assume for a moment that everyone agreed to send all nuclear materials away to some distant asteroid. Who would monitor the dismantling? How could we ever be sure that someone didn’t cheat just a little? And when they did cheat, leaving the rest of the world nuclear weapon free, what happens?
The only way to end nuclear proliferation concerns is to take away all knowledge of nuclear power. That can’t be done. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle, and it can never be put back.
The best hope to reduce proliferation concerns is to continue close monitoring of all use of nuclear materials, and continue development of advanced reactors that can use up weapons grade materials and produce power with them.
Opponents: The more nuclear materials that are available, the more likely it is that some of them will be diverted to weapons use. The fewer nuclear materials that are available, the less likely it is that some of them will be diverted to weapons use. It is that simple.
Advocates: If we ended all use of nuclear power today, it would not end the quest by some for nuclear materials. Those who want nuclear weapons will seek ways to refine uranium. And uranium is everywhere. It is that simple.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER TERRORISM CONCERNS
Opponents: Terrorist have been targeting nuclear power plants for years and are waiting for an opening, typically in the form of a security mistake. They also want radioactive materials and are willing to steal, bribe, coerce, or anything else to obtain them.
Advocates: Nuclear power plants, especially in industrialized nations, are extremely hard, high security targets capable of withstanding virtually any kind of attack short of a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. Were that to happen, the radiation release from the nuclear power plant would be a small fraction of the problem.
Opponents: Even if nuclear power plants did prove to be attack proof, which is suspect and being constantly probed by those who would attack us, that still leaves the problem of unauthorized transfer of radio-active materials to the wrong hands.
Any type of nuclear material can be used by terrorists in ‘dirty’ bombs that may not product a large nuclear explosion, but will produce enough local radiation to kill thousands.
Advocates: All nuclear materials are governed by the strictest security measures known.
Over 50 years of research and experience have been invested in all aspects of nuclear security.
Sandia National Laboratories
, one of the most well respected and experienced nuclear research facilities in the world, has been and continues to be on the job of constantly improving an already superb nuclear security system.
Opponents: Even with ‘foolproof’ security systems, it only takes one mistake to cost the lives of tens of thousands. We simply can’t afford to take a chance on that one mistake.
Advocates: If we shutdown all nuclear operations today, all of the nuclear terrorism concerns will still be with us tomorrow. And so would the terrorists. Nuclear power isn’t the problem, terrorists are.
Nuclear terrorism is only one of dozens of notions held by those who would harm us. There is a long list of highly toxic chemicals, biological mechanisms, and explosive chemical mixes with even more means of delivery of those weapons to a target.
Opponents: Because there are other means of attack doesn’t mean that we should offer up nuclear weapons as another alternative.
Advocates: If we eliminate our nuclear industry because of fear, what’s next? Do we eliminate our chemical industry, auto fuels, what? Getting rid of nuclear power won’t eliminate terrorism concerns. Getting rid of terrorists will.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER WASTE CONTAINMENT CONCERNS
Opponents: The nuclear industry generates massive amounts of radioactive wastes that have to be safely quarantined for millions of years.
Advocates: Nuclear power opponents grossly overstate the amount of nuclear waste materials.
Nuclear Energy Institute Waste Data
shows that current nuclear waste produced by all U.S. nuclear power plants as used fuel rods totals about 2,000 tons per year.
In the U.S. nuclear power industry’s 50-year history, it has produced a total of about 54,000 metric tons of radioactive material. If these used fuel rods were stacked together, they would fill a football field to a depth of less than 20 feet. Every pound of that waste is accounted for and contained.
Opponents: Nuclear advocates attempt to minimize the issue by using low waste totals. The totals of which they speak seldom include the megatons of radioactive components, cooling fluids, and other irradiated waste products.
Advocates: Even when including nuclear waste byproducts in storage requirement estimates, the totals are still a small fraction of other toxic waste byproducts from other industries.
Proper, long term management of nuclear waste is very achievable as is evidenced by the
Yucca Mountain Waste Storage Plan
Further, with the new generation of reactors, waste will be reduced by at least 95% and it will be far more benign than waste from earlier generation reactors. The new reactors will also have the ability to reprocess current waste piles and reduce the amount of waste being stored.
In addition, it is highly unlikely that civilization needs to think about containing nuclear waste for millions, thousands, or even hundreds of years. It is much more likely that we will require storage for only a decade or two. Why?
All technologies are advancing at an incredible pace. The day will soon come when we are confident enough in space travel technology that, if we so choose, we can simply send those radioactive wastes to an asteroid or other harmless place.
Opponents: We may or may not develop the technology to safely fly nuclear wastes away from Earth. Meanwhile, we are stuck with them. The bottom line is clear; when you add the possibilities of nuclear terror to all of the other radiation concerns, nuclear power is untenable.
Advocates: If we shutdown all nuclear operations today, all of the radiation concerns will still be with us tomorrow. It is not so much nuclear technology, but the knowledge of nuclear technology that can’t be undone.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER COSTS
Opponents: Nuclear power plants cost far more than conventional plants to both build and operate. The only way they can be remotely competitive is through heavy government subsidies.
Advocates: The early high costs of nuclear power plant construction existed for a number of reasons that no longer apply. Plants that should have cost 500 million dollars ended up costing 3 billion or more. Here is a brief rundown of why:
*In the beginning we had no design standardization. Designs are now much better understood and more standardized.
*Because we were in the early learning phases of nuclear technology development we had many inefficient construction practices. Now we have a better understanding of the technology, and we also have construction engineering and modular construction methods.
*A lot of early construction was done on a ‘design as you build’ basis. Now plants are fully designed before construction starts.
*We had multiple and vaguely defined reasons for regulatory intervention. Now the reasons for regulatory intervention are much better understood and well defined in advance of construction.
*In sum, we were dealing with a highly complex, evolving technology. Today the technology is highly evolved, far more stable and has proven designs that greatly economize all aspects of construction.
Bernard Cohen Nuclear Power Cost Overrun Data
After 50 years of development, new nuclear power plant construction techniques and proper management of the assets give nuclear power not only a price edge on other forms of electrical energy production, but also offers fuel price stability that neither gas nor oil can compete with. Nuclear power is also magnitudes of order cleaner than coal, and cheaper.
International Energy Agency Cost Data
from the Nuclear Energy Institute, we see that nuclear power total costs of operation are cheaper than any other option.
Total Operating Cost $/KWh
[KWh = kilowatt hour, or 1,000 Watts for one hour, or about 1.3 horsepower.]
Even though plant construction costs of nuclear power plants are high ($1,000 to $2,000 per KW of capacity), the total lifetime operating costs including fuel make nuclear power a clear winner.
Opponents: The numbers used by advocates don’t accurately reflect the reality of heavy subsidies from the U.S. Government. One of many fatal flaws of nuclear power is cost. As documented by
The Public Citizen
, fossil fuels and nuclear power get 80% of Federal energy subsidies, leaving only 20% for renewable energy development and conservation.
Total subsidies for nuclear power now approach one hundred billion dollars.
Possibly the worst of the seemingly endless subsidies for nuclear power are liability limitations for nuclear accidents that limit liability to about $10 billion per incident when actual damages from a nuclear accident could approach $600 billion.
Nuclear power has been given more R&D funding than all other energy sectors combined. It has also been given low interest loan guarantees and shut down subsidies. The list goes on and on, all at great cost to us.
[If you don’t already have it, you may need the
Free Adobe Reader
from this link to open some of the documents below.]
Other resources like this
Nuclear Information and Resource Service Document
show continued cost overruns on nuclear power projects. The Finnish reactor in this document is of modern design and, so far is costing in excess of the $2,000/KW upper limit suggested by the NEI.
The document also reveals a 600% increase in the price of nuclear fuel and belies the myth of cheap nuclear fuel resources.
Advocates: One case does not reflect an entire industry. For the reasons already discussed above, and as detailed in the
NEI Wall Street Briefing
that opponents attempt to dispute, a price range of about $1,500 to $2,000 per KW of capacity is the most likely average for nuclear power plant construction for many years to come.
New technology reactors are so efficient that fuel costs would have to rise far higher before nuclear fuel costs per kilowatt generated approached that of coal.
New reactor technologies will also utilize stockpiled depleted uranium as a fuel source. Since this source alone is expected to last for decades and new uranium mining technology now makes recovery of uranium from the sea practical, it is highly probable that, rather than rising, future uranium fuel prices will drop, and drop substantially.
Opponents: From the beginning of nuclear power technology five decades ago, the promise has been electrical power that is ‘too cheap to meter’. The reality has been that it is too expensive to produce. We continue to hear that cheap nuclear power is just around the corner but we continue to see huge Government subsidies going to the nuclear power industry.
Advocates: Economical energy from nuclear power is not just around the corner, it is here and now; and its cost base will continue to improve. Nuclear power is a proven resource, and has been working for over 50 years.
Those who decry its value fail to mention that solar, wind, and other renewable forms also have been heavily subsidized over the years, yet they remain unreliable and uneconomical.
Opponents: Had we invested the resources in renewables that we have invested in nuclear power, we would now have adequate, clean, economical energy supplies, without worries about nuclear nightmares.
Advocates: Wild speculation about what we might have if only more money had been spent accomplishes nothing. Nuclear power received financial support from the Government because it held great promise to meet our energy demands reliably and economically; AND because the marketplace was willing to invest in the technology.
Alternative energy systems are neither reliable nor economical. If they ever appear to be close to that point, as nuclear power was 50 years ago, they will attract vast financial support from both the Government and the free marketplace. The marketplace has decided that not only should nuclear power live, but that it should prosper.
Opponents: If nuclear power is so efficient and cost effective, then we should end their massive subsidies and use them for development of far safer and cleaner renewable technologies.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER NECESSITY
Advocates: Coal fueled power plants are dirty and produce large amounts of greenhouse gasses and acid rain causing sulfur dioxide. Coal resources will probably last for a number of decades, but they will run short sooner if use is increased enough to meet future energy needs.
Gas and oil fueled power plants are subject to huge swings in fuel prices. These energy resources are also limited and those limits are being reflected today in the huge price swings consumers are subjected to.
Renewable energy resources are still in the early stages of development and are a long way from being reliable and economical. Solar and wind work, but at a huge price.
It is not enough to say that a kilowatt of electricity can be produced by a wind generator for the same price as, say, a gas fired power plant. The number of generators needs to be at least double that of more conventional power plants to account for the intermittency of both wind and solar power.
Another huge addition to the cost of wind and solar power is the necessity of storing energy to use during calm or dark periods.
Meanwhile, global energy demand continues to grow while energy resources continue to become more scarce. Nuclear power is the only proven, economical technology, with adequate fuel resources, that can meet the expected future demand for energy without adding to the global warming problems that environmentalists claim are being created by conventional power generation.
Opponents: We can meet our future energy needs and ease global warming problems by conservation, increased energy efficiency of new equipment and buildings, and development of renewable energy resources.
Advocates: Conservation and increased energy efficiencies, while important, can’t meet our future energy needs. While solar and wind technologies could meet future demand, the cost would be horrendous. Energy prices are about more than convenience; they are a matter of National security.
Nuclear power is the only technology that can meet future energy demand at a price that won’t bankrupt consumers.
Opponents: While wind and solar development might cost more than nuclear power in the beginning, it would not bankrupt consumers. It would also cost far less if it received the generous subsidies that nuclear power has received. And neither wind nor solar power generation would kill consumers with radiation poisoning in the event of an accident.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER RESOURCE LIMITS
Opponents: Because economically recoverable nuclear fuel supplies will last only a few decades, there is no good reason to pour billions of dollars into nuclear power plant construction.
Advocates: Nuclear opponents use very shortsighted data that simply does not reflect reality. And the reality is that we can reasonably expect nuclear fuel supplies to last more than a few decades. In fact, we probably have enough nuclear fuel supplies to last two or three billion (yes, billion) years, maybe more.
World Nuclear Association Uranium Supply
report states that estimated, economically recoverable global uranium reserves total about 4.7 million metric tons (5.2million tons). It also says that at present consumption rates those supplies will last about 70 years. (Hence the statements by nuclear opponents that we will soon run out.)
That estimate is based on 2006 prices of about $60 per pound to produce uranium that is burned in primarily light water reactors that are notoriously inefficient.
But the report continues, stating that any current estimate of supply reserves is only a snapshot. It goes on to explain that many factors affect future supply expectations including better understanding of geology, exploration, technology advancements that increase either consumption or production efficiencies, and more.
[Note: The report is highly detailed and offers a number of insights into long-term resource development. It is well worth reading.]
Using data from the report let’s see where actual nuclear fuel supplies might be. We start with an estimated 70-year supply. If we double the price of nuclear fuel, as with most other resources, we can reasonably expect supplies to go up by a factor of ten. That boosts supplies to 700 years.
Fast breeder reactors under development are at least 60 times more efficient than current reactor technology. That puts supplies to 42,000 years at current consumption rates, far longer than recorded human history.
The report also mentions that thorium reserves can be used in breeder reactors and that would easily triple nuclear fuel supplies to about 126,000 years.
That’s far from a billion years, however.
Nuclear Power Sustainability Report
by Bernard Cohen of Stanford University states that uranium and thorium supplies should last for several billion years.
According to the report, the biggest nuclear fuel supply resource by far is the ocean. While the concentration is microscopic (about 3.3 parts per billion) there is a lot of it, over 5 billion tons.
The volume is growing daily from nuclear materials flowing into the oceans from the rivers of the world. The replenishment rate is large enough that we could harvest enough uranium to replace our total energy usage, including all oil, coal and natural gas, and not deplete the ocean concentration one iota.
However, it would be more expensive to harvest this resource than existing conventional resources. So we need to know how increased nuclear fuel cost would affect nuclear power plant operating costs.
In the report Dr, Cohen states that even if it cost $1,000 per pound to produce (which is far more than current estimates), that would only increase nuclear electricity costs in fast breeder reactors by $.0002/KW. Currently, electricity currently costs residential consumers between about $.05 and $.10 per KW.
We also have the technology to harvest this seemingly limitless resource.
Japanese Uranium From Seawater Technology
is rapidly developing. In the very near future, we can expect Japan to put the first practical system into operation.
Uranium is everywhere; it’s only a matter of developing the technology to harvest it economically. We now have modern mining technologies that make uranium recovery from seawater practical. We also have new reactor technologies that will be at least 60 times more efficient than existing models. These technologies can lead the way to a bright future of unlimited power.
Opponents: Wind and sunlight are everywhere. We already have the power to harvest energy from these resources. Solar and wind technologies can lead the way to a bright future of unlimited, and safe power.
PROS AND CONS OF NUCLEAR POWER LOCATION - NOT IN MY BACK YARD
Opponents: The U.S. currently has about 100 nuclear reactors that provide 20% of our electrical power. According to advocates, we need at least 400 more now and possibly a total of 1,000 in the next few decades.
Where do we put them? In the back yards of advocates?
We don’t want them in ours; and neither do people in a growing number of countries. More and more nations are deciding that the best course of action is a nuclear power phase-out.
Advocates: “If we NIMBY anywhere and anytime, we should not expect the utility industry to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. If we believe that global warming is a real threat to our planet, then the very best way to provide base load electricity is through emission-free production of nuclear power.”
—Norris McDonald, President, African American Environmentalist Association
October 22, 2003
Nuclear advocacy information including links to organizations can be found at:
Nuclear Power – Advocacy
Nuclear opposition information including links to organizations can be found at:
Nuclear Power – Opposition
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