Nuclear Power=Green Energy?

I recently heard on television that nuclear power is the ultimate green energy source, and I wasn’t sure whether the person speaking didn’t realize the inanity of her statement or she just has a different definition of green energy than most of us do.

Green energy is a relatively new term, and as with all new terms, the definition is not always as clear as the definition of an established term might be. Generally, though, green energy seems to be energy that is produced in a way that does little or no damage to the environment. 

That’s certainly what I think of when I hear nuclear power–safe for the environment. Yes, it’s completely safe for the environment—except for the possibility of a failure at the power plant that could kill tens of thousands of people and pollute food and water sources for decades to follow. I’m sure that it’s also very safe for the environment when we bury radioactive waste deep under the ground in areas such as the Nevada deserts. To be fair, the contamination risk for the waste under the ground will only last for a couple of thousand years–what are the odds that there will be an earthquake in that short of a time period? It’s not as if the western part of the country has any fault lines.

Seriously, nuclear power is the ultimate green energy source? I don’t know what would be worse– whether the person actually believes that nuclear energy is “green” or whether she thinks that we’re dumb enough to believe it.


Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever;

Sherry’s Grammar List

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2 Responses to Nuclear Power=Green Energy?

  1. Interesting blog, however, nuclear power is technically the ultimate green energy, as it doesn’t give off greenhouse gases during the production of the energy. The only half-truth in that statement is neglecting what you have described here. There is a big push for nuclear energy right now because it is “green”, it employs people, and it has, imho, immoral big money backers who are neglecting the waste products and caring more about their investments.

    Right now I am doing a documentary on HEAL Utah and Energy Solutions and it was amazing what I witnessed; one time the Utah Legislature gave the pro-nuclear power people 2 hours to speak, they gave everybody else (including farmers, scientists and HEAL) approx. 40 mins. It was ridiculous, they even cut people off during their speaking, of which, they did not interrupt the pro-nuclear people.

    Clearly biased? Also, just because it doesn’t give off CO2 emissions, people pro-nuclear sometimes neglect the facts of mining and milling also. Both detrimental to the Earth. Also, and here is a kicker, James Lovelock author of GEIA, is also pro-nuclear.

    It’s getting interesting, HEAL Utah is now working to get funding to do an analysis of if Utah was purely run on renewable sources. Help them out if you can.


    Reply from Paul: Thanks for the comment, and I wish you the best with your documentary. Let us know when it’s complete.

    You bring up a point about the post, stating that nuclear energy is technically green since it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases. That would certainly be the case if green energy means an energy that doesn’t produce greenhouse gases; however, since green energy is a new term, it doesn’t have a set definition. Many people think of green energy as an energy source that is friendly to the environment in its entirety, not just one that is friendly to the environment in the sense that it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.

  2. nochangetilltheydie says:

    The sun is a nuclear reactor.

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