Renewable Energy – Why We Need Nuclear

“In the effort to save the climate, are we destroying the environment?”

Good question, right? This TED talk was so good, I felt like I had to share it and write down a few thoughts about the subject.

Since learning about nuclear power as a kid, I just assumed that it was where humanity would naturally go for power in the future. In sci-fi books and films, everything seems to be powered by some sort of atomic reactor tech. Since I was born, we’ve built almost no* new nuclear power plants in the USA. Not sure what the numbers look like globally, but I know its not anywhere near enough to offset pollution/climate change.

This has never made sense to me. Why are we paving deserts with solar panels, damming rivers (greatly altering landscapes), building giant bird and bat blenders that are hideous and inefficient, and worst of all, continuing to burn fossil fuels that are polluting our air, destroying habitats, and that may be warming the planet ever so slightly over time (with hugely detrimental global effects)?

We’ve had the answer to this problem for ~60+ years… why do we continue to pretend that solar and wind will solve the problem in the “greenest” way when the data doesn’t support that?

Nuclear is the way to go. We should be building a new plant (or multiple plants) in every state in the USA to mostly get off of carbon fuels in the next 20 years. Solar/wind will never do the job – not until we have the benefit of maybe the next 100 years of improvements in those technologies (and power storage/regulation). By then, we will have done so much damage to our beautiful planet that it may be too late.

I think wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars just make people feel good about themselves, but they’re not actually solving any problems right now… Electric cars are a different debate, but I’ll point out that if your Tesla is being charged by electricity from your home that’s coming from a coal-powered plant, you’re actually less green than if you were just driving a car that used gas. ?‍♂️

Let’s talk more about nuclear. It’s the best solution to our energy and environmental problems, and denying that seems really foolish. We need to keep inspiring engineers and researchers to improve nuclear tech so that it gets more efficient and safer.

Develop Nuclear power, plant more trees, use less plastic (& recycle), conserve more fresh water, and we can continue to have nice things for a long time, humans. ?

Please forgive Sunniva’s very ugly powerpoint slides, and just judge the content, haha.

*feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – I’d love to discuss the subject more. I almost never hear anybody talk about nuclear power anymore – not politicians, not millennials, not anybody. ?‍♂️why not?