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The Pros and Cons
of Nuclear Energy

Don't let the PROS CON you!




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Page Updated:
March 3, 2021

• Nuclear Industry News
Nuclear News Stories

Read the latest news stories on nuclear power

What went right - and what went WRONG?

Click now for that section on this page.


• Nuclear Plant
Accident Timeline
Events to Make You
Distrust Nuclear Power:

Read the BBC account of the varous nuclear accidents beginning in 1957.

Click now to learn more.



Of Interest

  • • Is Thorium the Nuclear Answer?
    Thorium Nuclear Reactors
    Mentioned by Andrew Yang

    Dec. 23, 2019 (energycentral)- Andrew Yang mentioned Thorium Nuclear Reactors as one of the advanced nuclear fission reactor concepts. Yang has also talked about making a prototype thorium reactor by 2027. There is a US startup working on a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. If Flibe Energy was fully funded then they could build their planned 20-50 MW modular nuclear reactor by 2027. China also has an extensive molten salt and thorium reactor program. It is also possible to have more conventional reactors or pebble bed reactors adapted to use some thorium.

    Yang has proposed nuclear subsidy—$50 billion over five years. If there was that level of subsidy, then the other advanced nuclear projects would complete for it. There would be a lot of push for the molten salt reactors that use Uranium. The Thorcon molten salt reactor seems like a design that could scale to 100 GW per year of construction. In the rest of this article, I will review the status of the US, China and Indian Thorium reactor projects.

  • • TerraPower: Nuclear Innovation
    (Striving to Improve the World)
    We Need Advanced Nuclear Now
    TeraPower Says It's Rready

    TeraPower-TerraPower’s founders entered the nuclear energy arena to meet growing electricity needs and lift billions out of poverty. Advanced reactors and other isotopic applications are now possible with technology and enhanced computing capabilities that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. TerraPower says that they are ready to build the clean energy of tomorrow - today.

    One of their founders, incidentally, is Bill Gates.

  • •  The Hanford Nuclear Leak Is Irreparable  
    D.O.E. To Permanently
    Close Damaged Hanford Tank

    Jan. 2, 2018 - The Energy Department says it will permanently close a damaged radioactive waste storage tank on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

    The department says that Tank AY-102 has widespread damage and should not be repaired.

    Click now for more on this earthFix story.

  • •  The U.S. Backs Off Nukes - But Not Georgia 
    The U.S. Backs Off Nuclear
    Power. Georgia Wants to
    Keep Building Reactors

    Aug. 31, 2017,  The New York Times - Even as the rest of the United States backs away from nuclear power, utilities in Georgia are pressing ahead with plans to build two huge reactors in the next five years — the only nuclear units still under construction nationwide.

  • • Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon?
    Keeping Uranium Mining
    Out of the Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon is an irreplaceable natural treasure. Its stunning vistas, ancient geology, and winding Colorado River are world renowned — drawing over 5.5 million visitors to the park each year. Moreover, more than 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland depend on the Colorado River for clean, safe water.

    Yet, irresponsibly operated uranium mines located on federal public land just miles from the North and South Rims threaten to permanently pollute the Grand Canyon landscape and the greater Colorado River.

  • • What's the NRC Hiding on Palo Verde?
    Nuclear Leaks: The Back Story
    the NRC Doesn’t Want You to
    Know about Palo Verde

    June 14,2017 - One of two emergency diesel generators (EDGs) for the Unit 3 reactor at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station in Arizona was severely damaged during a test run on December 15, 2016.

    The operating license issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allowed the reactor to continue running for up to 10 days with one EDG out of service. Because the extensive damage required far longer than 10 days to repair, the owner asked the NRC for permission to continue operating Unit 3 for up to 62 days with only one EDG available. The NRC approved that request.

  • • The USA's 10 Riskiest Nuclear Power Plants 
    Where Are They - And
    What Are the Dangers?

    March 18, 2011 - As we watch the continuing catastrophe in Japan unfold with no clear expectations of the outcome, one thing is for certain: The safety of nuclear power has become a hot topic of conversation. While some countries are shutting down plants, many other are reevaluating the safety of theirs and strategizing over future plans.

  • • Is The Energy of the Future Finally Here?
    World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion
    Experiment Clears Milestone

    July 24, 2019,(Scientific American) -A multination project to build a fusion reactor cleared a milestone yesterday and is now 6 ½ years away from “First Plasma,” officials announced.

    Yesterday, dignitaries attended a components handover ceremony at the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in southern France. The ITER project is an experiment aimed at reaching the next stage in the evolution of nuclear energy as a means of generating emissions-free electricity.

  • • Old Nuke Plants Are Dragging Down Clean Energy
    Why America’s Old Nuclear
    Plants Could Be Dragging Down
    Clean Energy Development

    Apr. 25, 2017 -New York and Illinois are investing billions to keep old facilities in action, and Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio are among states contemplating the same idea. It’s an expensive process, though it does mean that new natural gas plants aren’t required to fill the gaps left by wind and solar.

  • • Revisiting the Three Mile Island Meltdown 
    Documentary:Meltdown at Three
    Mile Island 40 Years Later

    EnergyCentral Mar. 28, 2019 -The Three Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979 is still considered the worst at a U.S. nuclear plant in history. Due to a series of human and technical errors, the core of the Unit Two reactor at TMI partially melted down.

    Though debated and controversial, research over the past 40 years concluded only a small amount of radiation escaped into the atmosphere and didn’t result in any deaths or injuries.

    This documentary details what happened inside the containment building at TMI on March 28: the chaos, confusion, miscommunication and fear in the area surrounding the plant afterwards and the legacy of TMI after the accident.

  • • British Nuclear Project Becomes Messy
    Huge British Nuclear
    Project Becomes a
    Diplomatic Flash Point

    Aug. 15, 2016 -Once considered a vital part of Britain’s clean-energy future, the beleaguered Hinkley Point nuclear plant project looked further than ever from becoming reality this week as a row erupted between the three countries developing the massive facility: the U.K., France, and China.

  • •  Does Fail-safe Nuclear Power Actually Exist?   
    Could We Actually Have
    Fail-safe Nuclear Power?

    Aug. 2, 2016 -The Shanghai Institute’s effort to develop molten-salt reactors, a technology that has sat all but forgotten in the United States for decades, reflects just how daring China’s nuclear ambitions are. Already, the government has invested some two billion Chinese renminbi ($300 million) over the last five years in molten-salt R&D. Building actual plants will require tens of billions more.

  • •  Florida Power & Light Sued For Radio-Active Leak 
    Florida Nuclear
    Plant Operator Sued for
    Polluting Drinking Water

    July 15, 2016 -Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Florida Power & Light Co., operator of the Turkey Point nuclear facility, saying that the company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging contaminants from the plant, impacting nearby drinking water.

    Click now to read the story
    (Hint: Bring your Geiger Counter).

  • • The Protrusion of Confusion Over Fusion
    The Real Problem With
    Fusion Energy

    May 27, 2016 -The longstanding joke about fusion — that it’s the energy source of the future, and always will may not be the field’s biggest problem.

    Click now for what
    might be encouraging news.

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Resources

  • • All Things Nuclear
    Fukushima: Taking On the NRC

    Union of Concerned Scientists - If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission balks at implementing new safeguards in a reasonable time frame on the grounds that it does not have enough information about what happened in Japan, then the agency also cannot have enough information to relicense operating reactors or license new ones...

    More by clicking now.

  • • Russia Criticized For Its Arctic Nuclear Activity
    Nuclear Security: Power
    Plants Are Poorly Protected
    Against Malicious Acts

    Oct. 10, 2017   Greenpeace - The nuclear power plants around us are “The Sword of Damocles” over our heads.

    A new report by independent experts, submitted to authorities in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, questions security at French and Belgian nuclear facilities and points at their vulnerability to outside attacks. These experts are particularly concerned about a certain type of facility at nuclear plants: the spent fuel storage pools.

    These pools tend to contain the highest volume of radioactive matter in a nuclear plant and are very poorly protected. Rather than wait for the worst to happen, let’s address this issue and take action.

  • • Dangers of Densely Packed Nuclear Waste Pools
    The Case for Moving U.S.
    Nuclear Fuel to Dry Storage

    Apr. 14, 2011   M.I.T. Technology Review - One of the lesser-noted facts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster—where loss of coolant in spent-fuel pools has resulted in massive radiation releases—is that some fuel at the plant was stored in so-called dry casks, and these casks survived the March 11 earthquake and tsunami intact.

    This fact is likely to result in new calls to move some spent fuel out of water pools at reactor sites in the United States—where it is packed more densely than the fuel in the stricken Japanese pools—and into outdoor dry casks, experts say.

    Worried? Click now to get radio-active.

  • • Links Between Nuke Power and Weapons
    The Links Between Nuclear
    Power and Nuclear Weapons

    - Nuclear weapons and nuclear power share several common features. The long list of links includes their histories, similar technologies, skills, health and safety aspects, regulatory issues and radiological research and development. For example, the process of enriching uranium to make it into fuel for nuclear power stations is also used to make nuclear weapons. Plutonium is a by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle and is still used by some countries to make nuclear weapons.

    There is a danger that more nuclear power stations in the world could mean more nuclear weapons. Because countries like the UK are promoting the expansion of nuclear power, other countries are beginning to plan for their own nuclear power programs too. But there is always the danger that countries acquiring nuclear power technology may subvert its use to develop a nuclear weapons program.

    Click to read more from
    the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.


Decades have passed since the • first power plant of this type went on line, and no viable solution for the storage of this contaminant has yet to emerge.

Industry spokespersons have long touted nuclear energy as cost-effective when compared to fossil based fuels, but their conclusions fail to consider the cost of • decommissioning a plant when it has reached its maturity.

Recent studies have revealed that greenhouse gasses resulting from nuclear power may
be even higher that those produced from the burning of natural gas (• latest findings).
• U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Locations
• Worldwide Nuclear Leaks

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Nuclear Power or Nuclear Danger News
(In the past year)

  • • Where Does Progress on Nuclear Fusion Now Stand?
    Where Are We With this
    Safer Nuclear Option

    Feb. 22, 2021 (Renewable Energy World) -The world’s largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor is in development in Provence, southern France. ITER (originally the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject funded and run by seven member entities: the European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States; Overall, 35 countries are participating in the project directly or indirectly.

    If it does happen, don't expect it until 2035.

  • • Germany Says' 'Goodbye' to Nuclear Energy
    A Global Nuclear
    Phaseout or Renaissance?

    Feb. 2, 2021 (Deutsche Welle) -Germany's nuclear phaseout will be completed by the end of 2022. Safe final repositories for nuclear waste still haven't been found, but some countries are still building new reactors.

    There's Been a Huge Drop in Worldwide nuclear demand since 1996. Does nuclear power have a future?

  • • Is Nuclear Fusion Still Be an Illusion?
    Or Could it be an Answer
    to the Climate Crisis

    Dec. 28, 2020(The Guardian),Promising new studies suggest the long elusive technology may be capable of producing electricity for the grid by the end of the decade.

    If all goes as planned, the US will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its electricity sector by 2035 – an ambitious goal set by President-elect Joe Biden, relying in large part on a sharp increase in wind and solar energy generation. That plan may soon get a boost from nuclear fusion, a powerful technology that until recently had seemed far out of reach.

    Researchers developing a nuclear fusion reactor that can generate more energy than it consumes have shown in a series of recent papers that their design should work, restoring optimism that this clean, limitless power source will help mitigate the climate crisis.

  • • A Waterway Impact From Chernobyl - Nuclear Runoff
    The Waterway Would Go
    From Poland to Ukraine and Would
    Be Europe's Longest One

    (ZME Science), Dec. 24, 2020 - A river running past the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is currently being dredged to create a 2,000-kilometer shipping route linking the Baltic and Black seas. The project was widely questioned by scientists and conservationists, who claim radioactive sludge from the 1986 nuclear disaster could resurface due to the work.

    The waterway would go from Gda?sk in Poland, through southern Belarus to Kherson in Ukraine. It would be Europe’s longest waterway, stretching 25 times the length of the Panama Canal. Government ministries and a coalition of organizations are pushing through the construction. Small vessels can already pass through it.

    The project involves the dredging of the entire Pripyat river, which serpents within 2.5 kilometers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • Floating 'Mini-Nukes' Could Power Countries by 2025
    Danish Company Plans to Fit
    Ships with Small Nuclear Reactors
    to Send Energy to Developing Countries

    (The Guardian), Dec. 17, 2020 -Floating barges fitted with advanced nuclear reactors could begin powering developing nations by the mid-2020s, according to a Danish startup company.

    Seaborg Technologies believes it can make cheap nuclear electricity a viable alternative to fossil fuels across the developing world as soon as 2025.

    Its seaborne “mini-nukes” have been designed for countries that lack the energy grid infrastructure to develop utility-scale renewable energy projects, many of which go on to use gas, diesel and coal plants instead.

    The ships are fitted with one or more small nuclear reactors, which can generate electricity and transmit the power to the mainland.

  • • UK’s Nuclear Sites Costing Taxpayers ‘Astronomical Sums’
    Ignorance, Incompetence and Weak Oversight to Blame

    (The Guardian), Nov. 27, 2020 -The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

    This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

    The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of its sites, including 10 closed Magnox stations from Dungeness in Kent to Hunterston in Ayrshire, the MPs report said.

  • • Nuclear Plant Failure -Renewables in its Place
    Swell of Support for Welsh Renewables

    (Renewable Energy World), Oct. 16, 2020 -Back in 2018, the plans for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon were rejected by the UK Government, but within the same month, Westminster issued a statement outlining their full support for Anglesey’s new £20bn ($25.7bn USD) nuclear reactor, Wylfa B.

    Wylfa’s perceived virtue, over the clean energy lagoon, was that nuclear represented greater value for money, and that it would create better returns and employment opportunities in the long run. On the back of these factors, the government confirmed that taxpayers would benefit from investing public-purse money into the project.

    However, just last week, after £2bn ($2.5 USD) had already been spent in development (using both taxpayers’ money and investment from Hitachi), the plug was pulled on the venture. Hitachi has not publicly commented about their withdrawal from the project, but speculation is rife that the move has come amidst rising costs and disputes with the government. This private-sector exit spells the end of the Wylfa B project.

  • • Could Fusion Be No Longer an Illusion?
    Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor
    Is ‘Very Likely to
    Work,’ Studies Suggest

    (NY Times Climate Forward), -Sept. 29, Scientists developing a compact version of a nuclear fusion reactor have shown in a series of research papers that it should work, renewing hopes that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achieved and eventually contribute to the fight against climate change.Construction of a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said.

  • • Climate Threatens U.S. Nuclear Reactors
    An Unforseen Result of Climate Change

    Scientific American, Aug. 20, 2020 -Soaring temperatures, intensified flood risks and heightened water stress will threaten 57 U.S. nuclear plants over the next 20 years, forcing operators to take additional resiliency measures, according to a new report.

    “The consequences of climate change can affect every aspect of nuclear plant operations—from fuel handling and power and steam generation to maintenance, safety systems and waste processing,” said the analysis, which was published yesterday by Moody’s Investors Service.

    Analysts used data from Four Twenty Seven, a Moody’s affiliate that provides climate risk intelligence, to examine threats to operating nuclear plants.

  • • Ohio House Speaker Arrested for Bribery
    The Speaker and Four Others
    Were Attempting to Bail
    Out the Ohio Nuclear Industry

    July 21, 2020,(POWERGRID INTERNATIONAL)-The powerful Republican speaker of the Ohio House and four associates were arrested Tuesday in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.

    Hours after FBI agents raided Speaker Larry Householder’s farm, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers described the ploy as “likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio.”

    Householder was one of the driving forces behind the nuclear plants’ financial rescue, which added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.

  • • Germany to Wave 'Bye-bye' to Coal and Nuclear
    Germany: First Major Economy
    to Phase Out Coal and Nuclear

    July 7, 2020,(PowerGrid.com) -German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

    The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources. Achieving that goal is made harder than in comparable countries such as France and Britain because of Germany’s existing commitment to also phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022.

    • • Philippine Nuclear Plans Fizzle
      A Nuclear Plant, and a Dream, Fizzles

      June 18, 2020,(Energy Central) -In many ways, the Philippines is a good case study of the effect of public perception and response to the establishment of a nuclear power program. The country’s first and only attempt at nuclear power development was the 621-MW Philippine Nuclear Power Plant in August 1977.

      It was supposed to be the first of two nuclear plants to be built in the northern province of Bataan. It was also the first nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia, and deemed as a promising solution to the 1973 oil crisis that had adversely affected the global economy, including the Philippines.

    • • Finland's New Nuclear Reactor - Not So Safe After All
      Finland's New Nuclear
      Reactor Hit By Valve Leak

      May 25, 2020 (REUTERS)-Finland’s long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear reactor was hit by another setback after the nation’s safety watchdog reported valve problems in a component involved in the cooling process.

      The reactor in western Finland was built by a consortium of France’s Areva and Germany’s Siemens and had been due to start producing electricity in November this year.

      “A leak was observed in the mechanical control valve of one of the pressuriser safety valves,” nuclear watchdog STUK said in a statement on Monday, adding that a full investigation is required before it can issue a nuclear fuel loading permit.

    • • U.S. Nuclear Agency Wants To Relax Radioactive Waste Rules
      Do We Really Need Rules on
      Nuclear Waste? NRC Says "No"

      May 7, 2020 (The Guardian) - The federal agency providing oversight of the commercial nuclear sector is attempting to push through a rule change critics say could allow dangerous amounts of radioactive material to be disposed of in places like municipal landfills, with potentially serious consequences to human health and the environment.

      “This would be the most massive deregulation of radioactive waste in American history,” said Dan Hirsch, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a nuclear industry watchdog non-profit, about a proposal that would permit “very low-level” radioactive waste to be disposed of by “land burial”.

      Click now to make your Geiger counter flutter.

    • • Fukushima: Ocean Dumping Ground For Radioactive Waste
      Fukishima Legacy:
      A Radioactive Dumping Ground

      Mar. 11, 2020 (Deutsche Welle) -The nuclear disaster at Fukushima sent an unprecedented amount of radiation into the Pacific. But, before then, atomic bomb tests and radioactive waste were contaminating the sea — the effects are still being felt today.

      Almost 1.2 million liters (320,000 gallons) of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant is to be released into the ocean. That's on the recommendation of the government's advisory panel some nine years after the nuclear disaster on Japan's east coast. The contaminated water has since been used to cool the destroyed reactor blocks to prevent further nuclear meltdowns. It is currently being stored in large tanks, but those are expected to be full by 2022.

    • • Delayed Safety Steps Take Japan Nuke Reactor Offline
      Japan Nuke Reactor
      Taken Offline Due
      to Delayed Safety Steps

      Mar. 17, 2020 (Energy Central) -Heighten safety regulations, compliance problems and exposure of its decades-old corruption cause delays. According to the article, 'The anti-terror safety requirement was adopted in 2013 after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns that exposed a significant lack of safety culture and transparency among nuclear operators, and lax oversight by nuclear regulators, prompting a major overhaul and reforms.'

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