There are a lot of myths out there about nuclear energy. Today we’re going to set the record straight on a number of misconceptions that seem to be floating around when it comes to this alternative fuels source. And coming from someone that grew up with their father working as an engineer at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (Google it), I should know.
Don’t be afraid that nuclear energy is going to spike your radiation level. The average American’s yearly radiation exposure from nuclear power plants is .005%. Just to put that in perspective, you get 200 times that when you take a cross-country flight.
Many say that nuclear energy is bad for the environment and unsafe. The truth is nuclear reactors emit no greenhouse gasses during operation. In fact, over a nuclear plant’s lifespan, their emissions are more comparable to energy sources such as wind and solar, and it even requires less land use than most other forms of energy.
You may also hear that nuclear plants have no solution for the “huge” amounts of waste generated, and they also don’t have a safe way to transport it. False, and false. All of the used nuclear fuel generated in every nuclear plant in the last 50 years would only be enough to fill a typical football stadium up to about the 10th or 15th row. This is because approximately 96 % of this “waste” can be recycled. And for transportation, used fuel is being safely shipped by truck, rail, and cargo ship all of the time. To date, thousands of shipments have been transported leak-free in specially-designed containers.
The bottom line is this. Nuclear-generated electricity can safely and effectively power electric trains and subway cars and even cars now. It’s been propelling military and icebreaker ships for over 50 years, and can be expanded to other uses. It’s a valuable option to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and continue our efforts to transfer over to more clean energy.