Nuclear power can play a significant role in mitigating climate change. There are no insurmountable technical barriers to nuclear expansion, but the expansion must be performed under very high safety standards. Additionally, capital cost reductions from advanced designs and production methods will be required. It is therefore important to maintain and intensify current programs of research and development on power reactors, waster disposal, and nuclear safeguards to assure that safe nuclear power is available when it is needed.

Bruce Comby quoted in Gwyneth Cravens “Power to save the World”

The fear of nuclear has taken on a life of its own, looming large in its own right. This fear has impacted a large number of people, to the point where it has had serious health effects. These mental health effects have greatly exceeded any physical effects from radiation risks.

Andrew Daniels, “After Fukushima”

I had to weigh the potential risks of Three Mile Island against the proven hazards of moving people under panic conditions… No matter how well they are planned, massive evacuations can kill and injure people.

Pennsylvania Governor Thornburgh

There is a disturbing trend among Chernobyl evacuees. Many are fatalistic, holding the belief that they are doomed to an early death. They take more risks than their peers and any health complications they suffer they attribute to Chernobyl. Their life expectancy is 7 years lower than their compatriots due to depression, alcohol and suicide. Suffering from persistent depression, many have what is described as fatalistic alcoholism. The physical health effects of the accident may not have been severe, but all felt they were affected, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Andrew Daniels, “After Fukushima”

Nuclear energy gradually became a condensed symbol for many features of industrial and bureaucratic authority (especially the horrors of modern war). Propagandists found nuclear energy a useful symbol because it had become associated with potent images: not only weapons, but also uncanny scientists with mysterious rays’ and mutant monsters; technological Utopia or universal doom; and even spiritual degradation or rebirth.

Spencer Weart “Nuclear Fear”

Atomic energy, however, has little to do with nuclear weapons.

Alan Herbst, “Nuclear Energy Now: Why the time has come for the world’s most misunderstood energy source”

Some of the greatest excitement in nuclear technology stems from the potential to use thorium in the place of uranium. This is hoped to eliminate some of the concerns of existing uranium and plutonium-fueled reactors, by generating less waste and achieving greater fuel efficiency. Thorium dioxide’s higher melting point of 3390º C (as compared to uranium dioxide’s 2865º C) makes it more difficult for the fuel to meltdown.

 

Andrew Daniels, “After Fukushima”