9 Nuclear Energy Myths Dispelled

Spoiler: It’s clean, green and sustainable.

Andrew Crabtree

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1 — Environmental impact; it is widely argued that nuclear waste and spent fuel are environmental hazards and a reason to not pursue the nuclear energy electricity generation option.

However, it must be understood that all energy sources have an environmental impact. The production of solar panels as an example emits toxic chemicals as by-products and the panels themselves are non-biodegradable.

Of course, radioactive waste needs to be disposed of and work is ongoing to review and improve this process.

2 — The economics; renewable energy is believed that renewable energy is the much cheaper option in the long run. However, the technology does not exist to provide security of supply and there is much investment needed to get there.

It could be argued that you use this investment to better the nuclear energy, disposal and decommissioning processes that are already in existence.

3 — Nuclear safety; it is often argued that nuclear is the most affordable long-term energy option going forward. However, this comment is usually followed up by the argument that it is not the most safe solution. This is not true in the main.

The likes of the Chernobyl or Fukushima disasters are being referenced here. Chernobyl has been proven to be down to poor design and mismanagement and Fukushima was hit with a 42-foot tsunami. Recent reactors are designed to be able to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis, attack with an aeroplane or missile and account for critical mistakes by operators.

4 — Other countries are turning their back on nuclear; There are currently over 400 nuclear reactors in operation producing around 11% of the world's electricity. More than 60 are under construction and 158 are planned to be built.

Countries that use nuclear power include; China, the USA, Russia, France, Canada, and Brazil. Nuclear currently produces 20% of our electricity in the UK and the plans in place to maintain this capacity.

5 — Residents receive an increase in radiation; Any direct radiation from a nuclear power plant will be blocked by the station's purpose-built steel and concrete structures.

These safety barriers mean people living near a nuclear power station will not receive a higher dose than any other community. As an example, residents…

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Andrew Crabtree

I write about what I'm currently geeking-out over. What I read, watch and listen to, as well as my experiences as a Dad, Husband and Nuclear Energy Consultant.