Friday, May 09, 2008

"Nuclear reactors are unsafe. Nuclear waste is very dangerous."

Answer : The Chernobyl disaster clouds the vision of most nuclear opponents. But what many fail to note is that this faulty Soviet design is no longer currently used in any reactor in the world. We have several thousands of reactor-years of experience in running safe nuclear reactors worldwide. The safety record for this industry has been outstanding. Unlike coal plants, nuclear plants release no harmful products into the atmosphere and all the bi-products are carefully accounted for. Most people are unaware of the fact that coal energy releases far more radioactive substances than nuclear energy, and that all this radioactive waste is dumped directly into the atmosphere. Coal mining remains one of the most hazardous occupations of the world, and claims hundreds of lives every year.

Nuclear waste is carefully monitored and stored in a confined environment. The risk of contamination of this radioactive waste with air or water is miniscule. The levels of radioactivity fall drastically with time, and after 600 years, this waste will be no more radioactive than naturally occuring Uranium in the earth's crust !

Politics is all about taking calculated risks. The risks of not using Nuclear (reverting to coal and oil, ruining the environment, letting millions of people starve) far outweigh the risks of running nuclear reactors or storing nuclear waste.

1 comment:

rad_sci_health said...

Just for a little clarification:

Although the four 1000MWe Chernobyl reactors are now all shut down, there are 11 (eleven) 1000MWe RBMK reactors currently operating in Russia, plus one under construction. There are also four very small 12MWe RBMK reactors operating.

In addition, there are two 1300MWe RBMKs operating in Lithuania.