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Why do nuclear plants get shut down while coal and natural gas get to live on?
Seriously, in spite of the accidents, they’re by far the safest form of energy relative to the power they produce. I get if you’re scared (which you shouldn’t be) but why then does coal live on in spite of all the people who die from its particulates and it’s carbon footprint.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t use renewables at all, if anything we need them in the meantime as being intermittent with fossil fuel backup is far better than constant fossil fuels. It’s just that nuclear provides lots of energy for its land.
As for waste we just need to deal with it, though it might suck for people in the future who find a giant hole of radioactive material. Proliferation would happen regardless since we have enough nukes to flatten the planet.
I drafted this a while ago and it didn’t have much nuance. While it’s bountiful, consistent and safe. It’s also very expensive—Plant Vogtle in Georgia, USA now costs at least $29 billion, though that might be because of America’s political dysfunction1. This also applies to keeping nuclear power plants alive, especially when renewables are much cheaper and are actually meaeing their climate goals.
You could argue for natural gas as being better, but it still has emissions (though half of gas) and if you’ve paid attention to what’s happening right now, oil prices are through the roof. Germany, who had the bright idea of tying up their future with Russian gas and insist on closing nuclear plants even now, opting to run coal for longer instead.
There’s a lot more to that, but it’s hard to say that closing nuclear instead of coal plants was a mistake, moreso for depending more on Russian gas. Along with that is that we need a big commitment to peace, lest someone decides to shell a nuclear power plant for some reason. Then again, has losing a power source ever been good for a region?
My optimal strategy would be to agressivly pursue renewables even with fossil fuel baseload now and invest in nuclear to pick up on the baseload renewables struggle to cover (for now at least). As long as we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, it’s all a win.