Nuclear: The Foundation of Clean Energy

The theme of the 2014 American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting,held in November 2014, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA, was “Nuclear: The foundation of clean energy.”
Some of the highlights reported are summarized below, ref. 1.
1. A recent survey of the U.S. public’s perceptions of nuclear as as a clean energy source found: 23% believe that nuclear energy releases a lot of greenhouse gas, while only 28% believe that nuclear can be properly termed “a climate change solution.”
2. A new online tool, available for public use, was recently developed by the United Kingdom (U.K.) Department of Energy and Climate Change. The online tool prompts users to try their hand at determining the mix of energy sources that will allow the U.K. to meet its carbon-reduction goals and energy production needs by 2050. In all scenarios, the message is that you can’t meet the 2050 goal without nuclear in the mix.
3. Other environmental reasons for supporting nuclear power are that using nuclear would result in a decrease in air pollution (compared to using coal and natural gas) as well as a lessening of the environmental degradation caused by coal mining and fracking.
4. The reality is, as promising as renewables are, when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, they’re not there for us. That is why it’s essential for us to have, as the backbone of a clean energy profile, nuclear power.
5. Currently, the U.S. has five (5) new nuclear electric power plants under construction. Throughout the world there are seventy two (72) nuclear electric power plants now under construction. More nuclear power plants are currently under construction than ever in history. The world understands the need, but unfortunately the U.S. doesn’t get it yet.
How much longer are we going to wait before the U.S. understands the need for more nuclear power plants?

1. “Nuclear: The foundation of clean energy.” Nuclear News, Published by: The American Nuclear Society, p. 57, January 2015.