Six Myths & Facts About Nuclear Energy

See if you agree with the facts…

1. We don’t need nuclear – renewables are enough.

Fact: A “renewables only” scenario is unrealistic and is not supported by science (or logic) in spite of two decades of public and private support. Wind produced only 7 percent of U.S. electricity in 2019 while solar produced a mere 2 percent.  Little or no hydroelectric power generation is expected to be built in USA. At present, it is not possible for batteries to store even a day’s worth of renewable power. See Why Nuclear Power on our web site for more details about this.

2. Nuclear power is not safe.

Fact: Nuclear power has the fewest deaths per terawatt hour of generated energy of any other source of electricity. More people die every day from burning fossil fuels than died in 50 years of nuclear power generation. Through reduced air pollution, nuclear power is estimated to have prevented 2 million deaths. See Facts and then Safety on our web site for further details.

3. Living near a nuclear plant is dangerous.

Fact: Eating some bananas would give a person an equivalent dose of radiation as residing near a nuclear power plant for a year. See Facts and Radiation on our web site for much more information on this topic.

4. Nuclear power produces dangerous “waste.”

Fact: After the fuel is used in a reactor, it is removed and placed into secure storage casks. This unspent fuel (only 2% consumed) will be fully used in advanced reactors when they begin to operate in a decade. There are hundreds of years of potential energy remaining in these “leftovers.” See Facts and Nuclear Waste on our web site for images that demonstrate this clearly.

5. Terrorists could get their hands on nuclear material and make bombs.

Fact: First, all nuclear material is kept under strict security. Many levels of security exist at all existing nuclear power plants for our stored spent fuel. It would be extraordinarily difficult to mount an assault on a nuclear power plant and make off with any radioactive material. Secondly, to make a nuclear bomb requires using highly concentrated, nearly pure Uranium-235, virtually impossible for a rogue state to manufacture. While a simple “dirty bomb” can be made of radioactive material, there are far easier ways to wreak havoc than going this route.

6. Nuclear power is expensive.

Fact: When nuclear power is not hampered by unfair market forces we can make a lot of energy quite cheaply. It is also the only energy source that can run 24/7 at full power without producing greenhouse gas emissions.

These are some of the common myths about nuclear power. If you agree with our “facts” – and there are plenty more, then you may wish to help us spread the word and reverse the years of misinformation that is holding fission power back.

Learn how you can help by becoming a Friend of Fission.