I get a lot of people asking me why I’m so negative about nuclear power. Today I’ll let Alec Baldwin, star of 30 Rock, explain why nuclear reactors are a filthy form of energy.
But first, the pros and cons:
Pro: Compared to oil, gas and coal, it’s relatively low-carbon, and in a world where we need to be doing everything we can to cut the amount of carbon we belch into the atmosphere, shouldn’t nuclear be part of the mix?
Con: This week we learned that the Fukushima Daichi plants that went beyond meltdown after the tsunami in March have contaminated a vast area which will probably not be habitable again for generations.
And we learned that here in the US, the North Anna nuclear plant DIDN’T melt down, but may nevertheless have exceeded its design limits in the Virginia earthquake. In other words: after all the reassurances that our reactors are so marvelously designed and fail-safed that nothing could go wrong - we just got lucky. (I can almost hear them, “But what about the 500 nuclear power plants that DIDN’T melt down this year? Why do you always focus on the negative?”)
And of course, we still have NO plan for long-term storage of this stuff. Yucca Mountain will probably never be a viable storage option – and do we really want them transporting nuclear waste through our communities by truck or rail?
In the meantime, the Virginia plant stores its spent waste in pools. If anything goes wrong, there’s very little keeping that fuel from contaminating the groundwater relied upon by hundreds of thousands of people.
That’s enough from me right now. Listen to Alec tell the Huffington Post Green all about it:
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More on nuclear power:
- Japan admits total meltdown, says it was unprepared for Fukushima disaster
- Fukushima radiation found in California milk, fruit, vegetables
- Fukushima radioactivity highest in three months
- Downwind from the bomb… how we nuked Utah
- After the Gulf Oil Disaster You Should be Asking: How Much Safer is the Nuclear Industry?
- Japan nuclear mess: They really have no idea
- Japan melts down, Europe backs off, but US says “Full speed ahead”
- After Japan quake, new questions about nuclear power
- TED Talk: Pro vs Con on Nuclear Energy
(Springfield nuclear reactor image © FOX Television)