I know technologically America has lost its ground. We're being surpassed by countries like Japan and China in the computer, robotics, and renewable resource field, and the gap is widening every day, but what about nuclear energy? It's a taboo, and rightfully so, in Japan, where it's likely to never become popular. In china however, they're clearly aware of the advantages of nuclear power, and with 13 current reactors, 27 under construction, and 50 planned reactors, they're clearly poised to surpass us in a matter of decades, and, if you want to be a realist, probably less. Thanks to an unfortunate meltdown in Chernobyl, and a few unfortunately timed minor meltdowns in America, nuclear power isn't as popular as it could be. Personally I think this is is something we could take the lead on. If we start quickly, we could even be the first to master fusion rather than just fission. It would help america regain it's reputation as a technological power house, and given how environmentally friendly it is, I feel nuclear power would be widely accepted with the right government promotions. Anyone else have thoughts on this, or other energies?
The biggest challenge to nuclear energy is security. In a post 9/11 world nuclear power facilities are a strict liability. It's a problem that must be resolved.
Well they're safe from planes that's no doubt. The reactors are solid concrete, a plane crashing into it would disintegrate like paper into a shredder, and any kind of internal terrorism is unlikely. Our enemies don't have the resources to truly sabotage us or make the reactors in some way unsafe. I think it's just public ignorance and bad press keeping nuclear power from being as popular as it could be.
Is it bad press that forces armed guards to secure nuclear power stations?
In part your comments are true. However what about the materials? More power plants increase the ammount of materials on hand and the amount created. Accoutability is key. Further security isn't limited to "terrorism". There are natural disasters (earthquakes). Maintenance issues, design flaws in existing plants, etc are also concerns. The issue of security is not only an issue of terrorism but risk management in general. I do think that nuclear energy is the easiest path to energy independence though.
But what you're talking about is something we already we have to deal with. We have over 100 nuclear reactors in America, but we haven't heard news of a meltdown in over 30 years on american soil, and even then our meltdowns were handled with such vigor that no one died or was even truly injured. So it's true that we would have to deal with natural disasters and human errors in construction, but we've already been doing it for 50 years! The lack of publicity makes us think that we're still in our infancy in nuclear technology, but the truth is we're fairly adept at it.
I am reticant to promote my Hub on 4th Generation Nuclear Power except it is such a vital issue for society
I read over it, and I found it very interesting. It actually made nuclear power look safer than I had already thought it was. I really hope that people like us can continue writing on the subject and help bring nuclear energy to the forefront of discussion in society.
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