No one really knows. Or if they do they don’t agree with others equally confident of their knowledge. There are some things we can know – for instance, people are generally afraid of anything they do not understand. We step on harmless spiders and kill friendly snakes because we do not understand.
Many of us have now watched the National Geographic specials on “The Ten Most Venomous Snakes,” or some derivative of that idea. We know snakes can kill, but do we also know that most snakes do not kill people – but rather help keep the ecology balanced by playing their role in the food chain?
The point is that for people to make rational decisions about nuclear energy we must understand what it is we are deciding on. I found the following video on youtube – it gives a simple and understandable summary of nuclear power when applied to generating electricity.
Quick summary of Nuclear Energy:
Then there is the following video – dedicated exclusively to the destructive power of nuclear bombs. This type of presentation is designed to scare something out of the viewer. One of the problems is in differentiating between Nuclear power in bombs and Nuclear Power for generating electricity.
There are promotional videos that advocate the efficiency and job creation of nuclear energy. We should also understand that our understanding of nuclear physics has contributed to our use of medical technology – most evident in cancer treatment and sophisticated imaging. The evidence is pretty clear that our understanding of radiation has advanced civilization.
But does this mean that we should commit our future of electricity generation to nuclear power? There are some people out ther who are trying to understand without prejudice.
My take is that we benefit from scientific investigation. We have benefited from our understanding of nuclear energy. But science also has offered option in renewable energy sources.
We should not be afraid – rather – we should be informed and make conscious, informed decisions.