Why nuclear energy is awesome-three reasons

Three reasons why we should continue to use nuclear energy.

First reason:Nuclear energy saves lives

In 2013, a study by NASA showed that nuclear power avoided the deaths of approximately 1.8 million people. Even including the number of victims of Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear energy ranks last in death per unit of energy produced. Although nuclear waste is toxic, it is usually stored somewhere, while toxic fossil fuel by-products are released into the air that we breathe everyday. So just by reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned, countless cases of cancer or lung disease and accidents in the coal mines were avoided.

Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

 If you have to choose between a lot of dangerous stuff put in deep holes and many many many dangerous things released into the atmosphere, the first solution seems more logical. Nuclear power seems far more dangerous, however. Simple catastrophic events burn in our memories, while coal and oil kill in silence. It's like the death rate between planes and cars. Even in the best case, it would take at least 40 years to change towards 100% renewable energy. So as long as we continue to use fossil fuels, nuclear will save many more lives than it will destroy.

Second reason:Nuclear energy reduces CO2 emissions. 

Nuclear is probably much less dangerous for the environment in terms of climate change than fossil fuels, our main source of energy. Since 1976, approximately 64 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases have not been released into the air thanks to nuclear power. And by the middle of the 21st century, it could rise to 80-240 gigatons more. Human energy consumption continues to increase. According to the forecasts of the American government, China alone will add the equivalent of of a new 600MW coal plant every 10 days for the next 10 years. China already burns 4 billion tonnes of coal each year.

 Coal is inexpensive, relatively abundant, and easy to access. So it is unlikely that humanity will stop using it soon. Nuclear power may be the only way to cushion the effects of climate change and to prevent catastrophic global warming caused by humans. Compared to other things we do, nuclear is relatively clean energy. So even if it’s a good idea to quit nuclear in the long run, that would be a good solution for the next 100 years or so, compared to the alternatives.

Third Reason: new technologies.

Maybe technology will solve the problem of nuclear waste and dangerous power plants. The nuclear reactors that we have used so far are mostly outdated technologies, because nuclear innovation stopped in the 1970s. There are models, like the thorium reactor, that could solve the whole problem. Thorium is abundant, very difficult to change into a nuclear weapon. and up to 100 times less wasteful than current nuclear reactors. Material waste would also be dangerous for only a few hundred years, opposed to around 2000 years. 1 ton of thorium is estimated to produce the same amount of energy than 200 tonnes of uranium or 3.5 million tonnes of coal. So although we are not sure that alternative nuclear technologies keep their promises, shouldn't we at least do more research before missing an opportunity to solve many of humanity's current problems? It may not be a simple challenge, but it hasn't stopped us before.

So should we use nuclear energy? 

There are risks in any human endeavor, and we need to make an informed decision, rather than relying on intuition. If you want to hear the other side of the debate, or a short introduction to nuclear energy, click here. Our channel has a new sponsor: Audible.com. If you use the URL, you can have a free audiobook and support our channel. Producing our videos takes a lot of time, and we fill a lot of them listening to audio books. For a very entertaining book, we recommend "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. He's a great writer, and the story is very absorbing and true. Go to to get the book for free. Thank you very much to Audible for their support to our channel and to you for watching! Subtitles made by the Amara.org community

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