William Tucker, author of the forthcoming book "Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Can Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Long Energy Odyssey", says that nuclear power is both safe and required if we are to ensure that the electrical demands of Americans are met.
I’ve written about this before, often enough to bore, frankly, and sometimes it’s quite a chore to go over the point once more. Yet it’s inescapable that France, the geniuses behind the quick surrender to fascism and rioting "discontented youths", now gets 3/4 of its electricity from nukes. Oui, the French!
Rather than re-hash matters here, go read Tucker’s article. Here’s the salient point:
Finally, the problem of radioactive waste has been absurdly exaggerated. More than 95% of the material in a spent fuel rod can be recycled for energy and medical isotopes.
We have a nuclear waste problem in this country because we gave up reprocessing in the 1970s. The fear was that terrorists or foreign nationals would steal plutonium from American reactors to build bombs. This is a bit like worrying that terrorists will steal all the gold from Fort Knox. Other countries have built bombs in the intervening years. They didn’t need American plutonium to do it.
It’s not an exaggeration to say, however, that Fort Knox has been looted by oil-producing countries in the decades since our national cowardice in regard to nuclear power manifested itself as energy policy. We guarded against the wrong disaster and now we’re paying the price, literally, to our enemies.
Given a choice between dealing with a Arabian sheik offering oil in one hand while holding a gun behind his back in the other and a white-coated American nuclear scientist, there ought to be no hesitation whatever on the part of American leadership.