As gas prices spiral out of control, Western countries are reverting to coal for energy. But there is a third option that we should discuss: Nuclear.
Nuclear has a bad rap because of nuclear incidents but when you look at the death-per-unit of electricity, nuclear is at the bottom by leaps and bounds!
As we return to coal, your energy will literally be killing humans at a rate of 100,000 deaths per terawatt hour. This is not just because coal mining is dangerous, it is also because coal is linked to asthma, cancer, heart disease. This is not progress.
Nuclear power comes from the splitting of atoms into smaller nuclei which releases energy in the form of heat and radiation. Nuclear power plants need uranium that is enriched to do this. Nuclear is considered a low-carbon source of energy because it does not produce CO2. It has a bad rap because of incidents like Fukushima but the technology has actually advanced to be much safer in recent years.
It is not a perfect energy source but it is not akin to returning to coal! Do politicians know this?? Bernie Sanders promised to shut down all nuclear plants during the Presidential campaign. Elizabeth Warren called for nuclear power to be phased out by 2035.
The Biden administration supports building more nuclear power plants with a notice of intent to spend $6 billion on this project and last week the Department of Energy awarded $60 billion for 74 nuclear plants.
Bill Gates invests in a company called TerraPower that builds small reactors because that guy usually knows where the winds will blow and how to capitalize on that. And guess who else is highly invested in nuclear? Russia.
Why aren’t we being presented with nuclear as an option to mitigate the gas crisis? Maybe because uranium also comes from Russia. Sigh. I give up.