I grew up in a 1970s/1980s household with progressive parents who strongly opposed the presumed, much-discussed evils of nuclear power. It wasn’t until I became an adult myself and began looking critically at our country’s energy needs and options in a comprehensive way that I realized the role that nuclear power would need to play in developing a cleaner, greener, and less oil and coal-dependent nation.
A big part of my evolving views on nuclear power has come from the fact that I live in the Tennessee Valley, a coal burning area of the country with dirty air and epidemic rates of lung diseases, like asthma. The more I’ve learned over time about just how dirty coal-fired energy production is, the more interested I became in the potential for nuclear power to provide a less enviromentally damaging alternative.
And even with the terrible disaster now unfolding with Japan’s nuclear power grid, I remain a believer in the superiority of nuclear power as opposed to dirtier, greenhouse gas-producing energy sources. Of course, what I would really like to see is a “race to the moon” type American effort to create and implement truly green power sources – such as large scale solar or geothermal – within the next 10-20 years. However, until the day comes when we have these green power sources fully deployed within our own energy grid, I believe that nuclear power has an important transitional role to play.
So how about you? What are your views on nuclear power and how have they evolved over time? Has the current nuclear crisis in Japan changed your views or made you question them? Tell me in the comments below.
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