Being an engineer, I tend to focus on facts. Here are some facts provided by organizations that are not "pro-nuclear".
- World electricity demand will grow by 70% by 2030. This will cause oil prices to rise and countries who export oil and gas will have increased political and economic influence over energy importers.
- Even with the most optimistic projections, solar and wind will only account for a few percent of our energy needs in the next 25 years.
- Nuclear energy is the lowest cost producer of base load electrical generation, even without considering a possible carbon tax.
It is not a choice of wind, solar, and hydro instead of coal, oil, and nuclear. Renewables just won't cut it, no matter how much anti-nuclear folks wish it were true. The real choice is deciding how much coal and oil we want to off-set by nuclear. Here are some more facts (not even considering the global warming arguments):
- Air pollution from burning coal in the
causes 24,000 deaths per year, including 2,800 from lung cancer. The number is much higher in nations with lower emissions standards. USA
- Over the last 10 years, coal mining deaths have averaged 33 deaths per year in the
USA, and more than 6,000 per year in China.
- In the entire history of the nuclear industry the total number of fatalities, even with highly inflated Chernobyl death estimates, is ~16,000 deaths.
- Tons of uranium released to the atmosphere by coal plants in the
: >800 tons per year. USA
- Tons of uranium released to the atmosphere from nuclear plants in the
: 0 tons per year. USA
Coal plants release 100's of times more radiation to the atmosphere than do nuclear plants. The coal and oil energy cycles claims thousands of times more lives per year than the nuclear fuel cycle.
Last week "hundreds" of people were burned alive when an oil pipeline caught fire. More than 1000 people have died there in the past year from similar pipeline fires. Outside of
To me the answer is a "no brainer." That's why I choose to work in the nuclear industry. If I didn't believe in it I would take my engineering degree and 25 years of experience elsewhere.