Should We Rethink Nuclear Power?

Should We Rethink Nuclear Power?
AP Photo/Keith Riddler

While it seems to fly in the face of everything we believe and have been taught about nuclear power, it may actually be the safest form of power production that we have. Ironically, the immense potency of the power of splitting an atom is simultaneously what makes nuclear weapons so dangerous as well as what makes nuclear power so safe.

Despite high-profile nuclear disasters like Chernobyl in Ukraine (then the Soviet Union), Fukushima in Japan, and Three Mile Island in the United States, the deaths related to nuclear meltdowns are actually very few. In fact, climate scientists Pushker Kharecha and James Hanson discovered that overall, nuclear energy actually saves lives--their study found that up until now, nuclear power has already saved nearly two million lives that would have been lost to air pollution-related deaths from the contamination that would have been produced by other, more traditional, sources of energy.

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