Go 4 Nuclear
An engineering student's observations on nuclear power and policy

Arm Yourself!

If you talk to anyone in the nuclear industry about what’s standing in the way of the progression of nuclear power in America, you’ll surely end up on the topic of public fear. Those who are afraid of all-things-nuclear seem to be the most overzealous when it comes to exaggerating figures and presenting opinions as facts. So as someone who believes that nuclear power is a fantastic solution to energy problems around the world, I like to arm myself with facts about nuclear power that I can whip out at a moment’s notice, when needed. It’s amazing what just a couple of well articulated facts can do to change someone’s mind about nuclear power. If you’re one of those people who likes to go out and dispel the myths about nuclear power, (and I hope you are!), then you may find this list helpful in a future spur-of-the-moment debate.

-A coal-burning plant releases more radiation than a nuclear power plant

-Due to the level of enrichment of fuel used in nuclear power plants, it is PHYSICALLY impossible for a plant to explode like a nuclear weapon.

-The average American absorbs 360 millirems of radiation per year. Neighbors of Yucca Mountain would be expected to receive less than 1 extra millirem per year from the facility–less than half the dose received on a cross-country flight.

-Coal mining accidents alone have claimed 171 American lives since 2003. Nuclear plants have claimed 0 American lives in the history of nuclear power.

-The extra radiation per year received from nuclear power plants is equivalent to what you get from eating one banana.

-Studies have shown that it is safer to work in a nuclear power plant than in an office.

-All of the used nuclear fuel generated in the U.S. in the history of nuclear power would fill a football field less than 10 yards high.

-In only one year, a 1000 MW coal-burning plant may emit 100,000 tons of sulphur dioxide, 75,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 5,000 tons of fly ash.

-The use of nuclear power to generate electricity in the U.S. avoids the emission of roughly 150 million tons of CO2 per year.

And this is only the beginning–many more to come! So arm yourself with the facts and spread the word.

RESOURCES:

http://www.ans.org/pi/resources/myths/

http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/nuclear-energy-facts/article81880.html

http://wins.engr.wisc.edu/VillainOrVictim/facts/main.html

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One Response to “Arm Yourself!”

  1. Alexis – one of the useful tools to put into your pro-nuclear arsenal of facts comes from Ted Rockwell, one of the true pioneers of nuclear technology. Ted has recently put a good deal of time and effort into compiling a document that he calls the Nuclear Energy Facts Report. You can find it on Ted’s new blog called Learning About Energy.

    http://www.learningaboutenergy.com/2010/01/get-the-nuclear-energy-facts-report.html

    Just in case you do not know who Ted is, he participated as an engineer during the Manhattan Project and served as Rickover’s technical director for 15 years, playing a key role in the design and construction of the Nautilus, the Shippingport and other key reactor designs. He literally “wrote the book” on radiation shielding. He and a couple of Naval Reactors colleagues later founded MPR associates – he is ‘R’.

    He has also written several other books, including “The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made a Difference”. It is pretty exciting to know that a guy like that is still contributing to the development of technology and blogging to share what he has learned during more than 60 years as a nuclear professional.


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