Amid all the hysteria about nuclear meltdowns and radiation poisoning, here's something to consider: U.S. commercial reactors have never caused a single death.Back to top
Worldwide, nuclear power has the lowest accident rate based on the amount of energy generated by any source. Compare that record with the havoc caused by dam failures and the disease and deaths wreaked by fossil-fuel pollution and explosions.
Because uranium provides so much energy relative to its mass, the volume of reactor fuel is small. The roughly 70,000 tons of nuclear fuel from many decades of delivering trillions of kilowatt-hours of power could fit in a single Best Buy store. If the fuel were recycled, as is done in France, the residue could fit in the TV department.
In terms of the environment, nuclear power emits about the same carbon-equivalent per kwh as that of wind power, and less than solar. These renewable sources, however, are weak and intermittent providers. As many climatologists and environmentalists agree, nuclear power, which now provides 20 percent of U.S. electricity, is the only large-scale way to replace deadly, global-heating fossil-fuel combustion while providing steady, reliable electricity.