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The Pros and Cons
of Nuclear Energy

Don't let the PROS CON you!

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Page Updated:
August 30, 2022

• 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.

Nuclear Power or Nuclear Danger News - In the Past Year
(Latest Stories First)

  • • Punishing Japan Over Fukushima Nuclear Water Release
    Chinese Consumers Are Not Happy
    the Rule Now Based on Consumption


    Aug. 29, 2023 -Chinese customers are calling for boycotts of Japanese products from high-end skin-care creams to everyday household goods in retaliation for the release of treated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    The effort is shaping up to be the largest campaign of state-supported nationalist outrage against Japan in more than a decade and comes at a time of widening divisions between China and U.S.-aligned countries in the region.

  • • Young Climate Activist Tells Greenpeace
    to Drop ‘Old-Fashioned’ Anti-Nuclear Stance
    Swedish Teenager Ia Anstoot Says Group’s ‘Unscientific’ Opposition to EU Nuclear Power Serves Fossil Fuel Interests


    Aug. 29, 2023 -An 18-year-old climate activist has called for Greenpeace to drop its “old-fashioned and unscientific” campaign against nuclear power in the EU.

    In April, the environmental campaign group announced it would appeal against the EU Commission’s decision to include nuclear power in its classification system for sustainable finance. This “taxonomy” is designed as a guide for private investors wanting to fund green projects, aiming to boost environmental investment.

  • • Europe’s Atomic Reactors are Getting Old
    Can They Bridge the Gap to an Emissions-Free Future?


    Aug. 22, 2023 -Shaken by the loss of Russian natural gas since the invasion of Ukraine, European countries are questioning whether they can extend the lives of their ageing nuclear reactors to maintain the supply of affordable, carbon-free electricity — but national regulators, companies and governments disagree on how long the atomic plants can be safely kept running.

  • • The Nuclear Arms Race’s Legacy at Home:
    Toxic Contamination, Staggering Cleanup Costs and a Culture of Government Secrecy

    The Conversation

    Aug. 1, 2023 - Christopher Nolan’s film “Oppenheimer” has focused new attention on the legacies of the Manhattan Project – the World War II program to develop nuclear weapons. As the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945, approach, it’s a timely moment to look further at dilemmas wrought by the creation of the atomic bomb.

    The Project spawned a trinity of interconnected legacies. It initiated a global arms race that threatens the survival of humanity and the planet as we know it. It also led to widespread public health and environmental damage from nuclear weapons production and testing. And it generated a culture of governmental secrecy with troubling political consequences.

  • • The U.S. Pays Billions to Russia’s Nuclear Agency
    The Reasons Why


    June 14, 2023 - Nuclear power companies rely on cheap enriched uranium made in Russia. That geopolitical dilemma is intensifying as climate change underscores the need for emissions-free energy.

  • • Microsoft Bets That Fusion
    Power's Just Around the Corner
    Sam Altman Agrees to Provide Tech Giant With Electricity by 2028

    May 10, 2023, (Slashdot) - In a deal that is believed to be the first commercial agreement for fusion power, the tech giant has agreed to purchase electricity from startup Helion Energy within about five years. Helion, which is backed by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, committed to start producing electricity through fusion by 2028 and target power generation for Microsoft of at least 50 megawatts after a year or pay financial penalties.

    The commitment is a bold one given that neither Helion nor anyone else in the world has yet produced electricity from fusion. "We wouldn't enter into this agreement if we were not optimistic that engineering advances are gaining momentum," said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

  • • Tech Billionaires Bet On
    Fusion as Holy Grail For Business
    Names You're Sure To Recognize

    Apr. 24, 2023, THE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS REVIEW -Sam Altman became a tech sensation this year as the chief executive of OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence start-up that seems pulled from science fiction.

    But Mr Altman, who has been among Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors for more than a decade, has placed one of the biggest bets of his career on a company that might be even more futuristic: a nuclear-fusion start-up called Helion Energy.

  • • Germany Quits Nuclear Power, But...
    Other European Countries are Looking to Expand Nuclear It


    Apr. 14, 2023 -It began as a movement of pacifists chaining themselves to fences outside nuclear power plants. Five decades later, the effort to close German nuclear power plants will end with echoes of the Cold War era in which it began, as Russia’s war in Ukraine is a reminder of both the risks and promise of nuclear energy.

    Germany’s three remaining reactors will be shut down by Saturday — ending nuclear power generation in Europe’s largest economy.

  • • Making a Case For Nuclear Power
    Less Pollution, Smaller Footprint


    Apr. 13, 2023 -The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 was a death knell for nuclear power. Rising fear and anxiety about nuclear power plants prompted many countries to phase out this form of clean energy completely.

    But with climate disasters on the rise, and geopolitical tensions making fuel supplies unreliable, nuclear power is seeing a comeback. Nuclear power generation is now increasing again around the world. And even environmentalists have had a change in heart.

  • • Nuclear Waste Is Piling Up
    Does the U.S. Have a Plan?


    Mar. 6, 21, 2023 -As small modular nuclear reactors come closer to reality in the U.S., managing and disposing of their highly radioactive waste should be a national priority. Forty years after the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, there is, “no clear path forward for the siting, licensing, and construction of a geologic repository” for nuclear waste, according to a recent U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report.

  • • Will the Feds Approve Any
    of the New Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?
    Startups like Nano Nuclear and Others Are Developing Promising New Designs, But...

    Mar. 3, 2023, (CABARY MEDIA) -Last month Nano Nuclear Energy closed an oversubscribed $4.1 million funding round to support its development of a small nuclear reactor — but that’s just a tiny fraction of the money the company would need to fully develop its technology, push it through the torturous U.S. regulatory-approval process and deploy reactors in the real world.

  • • Fusion vs Fission?
    Is the Most Climate-Friendly Nuclear Technology the One We Already Have?


    Feb. 15, 2023 -Earlier this month, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used 192 lasers firing for billionths of a second to fuse hydrogen atoms in a tiny gold capsule into helium. For the first time, this experiment released more energy than the laser energy aimed at the capsule (although still just a fraction of the overall energy used).

    The announcement generated its own self-sustaining reaction of pundits speculating about cheap, limitless, carbon-free power. But moving from one experiment to something that can affordably power a city remains a monumental challenge. Which presents us with a climate dilemma: Should we invest in fulfilling the promise of fusion or improving and scaling nuclear fission technology that has already avoided emissions and saved lives?

  • • Exposed: The Most Polluted Place in the USA
    The Toxic Legacy of Hanford, the Washington State Facility That Produced Plutonium for Nukes


    Dec. 14, 2021 -The most polluted place in the United States — perhaps the world — is one most people don’t even know. Hanford Nuclear Site sits in the flat lands of eastern Washington. The facility — one of three sites that made up the government’s covert Manhattan Project — produced plutonium for Fat Man, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki during World War II. And it continued producing plutonium for weapons for decades after the war, helping to fuel the Cold War nuclear arms race.

    Today Hanford — home to 56 million gallons of nuclear waste, leaking storage tanks, and contaminated soil — is an environmental disaster and a catastrophe-in-waiting.

  • • Major Fusion Energy Breakthrough
    To Be Announced by Scientists at Lawreence Livermore National Lab


    Dec. 12, 2022 -Scientists at a federal nuclear weapons facility have made a potentially significant advance in fusion research that could lead to a source of bountiful energy in the future, according to a government official.

  • • Can Fusion Solve the Climate Crisis?
    The Scientific Breakthrough: What Its Means and Doesn't Mean


    Dec. 13, 2022 -The news this week that scientists had achieved a breakthrough in fusion technology was hailed as a milestone on the path toward a future of nearly limitless, emissions-free power.

    But if you think that means the days of burning fossil fuels for electricity will soon be over, enabling the world to more easily meet the goal of limiting warming this century, you may end up being disappointed.

  • • Four U.S. Nuclear Plants Will
    Start Producing Clean Hydrogen
    Putting Nuclear to Good Use


    Nov. 14, 2022 -The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with utilities on four hydrogen demonstration projects at U.S. nuclear power plants.

    Hydrogen would be produced at the nuclear plants through high- or low-temperature electrolysis, a process of splitting water into pure hydrogen and oxygen. High-temperature electrolyzers use both heat and electricity to split water and are more efficient.

  • • 70-Foot Nuclear Fusion
    Gun Could Change the World
    First Light Fusion Hopes it Will Be the Future of Energy Production


    Oct 28, 2022 -On a quiet industrial estate in England, the silence is occasionally broken by the thump of a 72-foot-long gun. At the end of the barrel, a star is born.

    The Big Friendly Gun (BFG) is a prototype for what U.K.-based nuclear fusion company First Light Fusion hopes will be the future of energy production.

  • • Germany Extends Life of 2 Nuclear Reactors
    It Could Upend the Country’s Plans to Become the First Industrial Power to Shutter Its Program


    Sep. 5, 2022 - Germany will keep two of its three remaining nuclear power plants operational as an emergency reserve for its electricity supply, its energy minister announced on Monday, delaying the country’s plans to become the first industrial power to go nuclear-free for its energy.

    The latest decision is aimed at giving the government more room to cushion the blow of a deepening energy crisis spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to which the European Union has responded with a string of sanctions against Moscow.

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Of Interest

  • • Fusion Breakthrough: One
    Step Closer to Solving Key Challenges
    Another Step Towards a
    Working Fusion Reactor

    ZME Science

    Nov. 8, 2021 - In fusion power, two atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing vast amounts of energy in the process. The process takes place in a fusion reactor and, at least in theory, this energy can be harnessed; but the practical aspects are extremely challenging.

    An important problem for fusion reactors is maintaining the plasma core extremely hot (hotter than the surface of the sun), while also safely containing the plasma — something fusion researchers refer to as “core-edge integration”.

  • • 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.

  • • 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.

  • • 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 ˝ 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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  • • 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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