Fort Worth, TX (WiredPRNews.com)–While alternative energy advocates push wind power and fuel cell technology, there’s little talk of the most efficient and safest power source available—nuclear. Fear mongering and paranoia seem to be the main obstacles to getting more nuclear-generated electricity.
The fact that no one in the United States has died because of a nuclear power plant meltdown does not get in the way of the hand wringing about the ‘dangers of nuclear power.’ This fear is largely the result of distortions from television shows and movies. Major motion pictures like Silkwood and The China Syndrome have scared Americans into falsely believing that a nuclear meltdown could happen at any time.
The animated TV show The Simpsons takes a less serious but equally false view of nuclear power. Homer Simpson, the show’s intelligence-challenged father, works at a nuclear power plant where liquid green waste spews into a lake from a large pipe at the rear of the plant. As if this is not disturbing enough, the effect of this mythical pollution is a mutated fish that pops above the water’s surface to show off its three eyes. While this depiction is funny, it is far from accurate — just ask the French.
In France, nuclear power generates 80% of the nation’s electricity. In the US, nuclear power only accounts for 19% of electrical power production, according to the EPA’s website. Yet political grandstanding, distortions from popular culture and fear of Chernobyl-like meltdowns prevent the United States from generating most of its electricity from this relatively clean technology.
The Chernobyl disaster, which happened in the former Soviet Union in 1986, was largely a result of poor engineering and inadequate employee training. The majority of the deaths at Chernobyl came from the radiation sickness from the fallout, which happened weeks and months after the accident.
While the equipment used to extract and transport the raw uranium used in the power plants burns fossil fuels, the nuclear power generation produces no carbon-based pollution. Radiation-free steam and water are the only immediate byproducts of the nuclear reaction. The spent uranium rods, used in the nuclear reactions, require replacement every 18 to 24 months and are stored in steel and concrete-lined containers.
The benefits of nuclear power-generated electricity far outweigh the miniscule risks involved.
Jason Meeks – Staff Reporter Wired PR News – Submit your technology news using Wired PR News – Press release distribution