- Almost 0 emissions (very low greenhouse gas emissions).
- They can be sited almost anywhere unlike oil which is mostly imported.
- The plants almost never experience problems if not from human error, which almost never happens anyway because the plant only needs like 10 people to operate it.
- A small amount of matter creates a large amount of energy.
- A lot of energy is generated from a single power plant.
- Current nuclear waste in the US is over 90% Uranium. If reprocessing were made legal again in the US we would have enough nuclear material to last hundreds of years.
- A truckload of Uranium is equivalent in energy to 10,000+ truckloads of coal. (Assuming the Uranium is fully utilized.)
- A nuclear aircraft carrier can circle the globe continuously for 30 years on its original fuel while a diesel fueled carrier has a range of only about 3000 miles before having to refuel.
- Modern reactors have two to ten times more efficiency than the old generation reactors currently in use around the US.
- New reactor types have been designed to make it physically impossible to melt down. As the core gets hotter the reaction gets slower, hence a run-away reaction leading to a melt-down is not possible.
- Theoretical reactors (traveling wave) are proposed to completely eliminate any long-lived nuclear waste created from the process.
- Breeder reactors create more usable fuel than they use.
- Theoretical Thorium reactors have many of the benefits of Uranium reactors while removing much of the risk for proliferation as it is impossible to get weapons-grade nuclear materials from Thorium.
- Nuclear plants are more expensive to build and maintain.
- Proliferation concerns - breeder reactors yield products that could potentially be stolen and turned into an atomic weapon.
- Waste products are dangerous and need to be carefully stored for long periods of time. The spent fuel is highly radioactive and has to be carefully stored for many years or decades after use. This adds to the costs. There is presently no adequate safe long-term storage for radioactive and chemical waste produced from early reactors, such as those in Hanford, Washington, some of which will need to be safely sealed and stored for thousands of years.
- Early nuclear research and experimentation has created massive contamination problems that are still uncontained. Recently, for instance, underground contamination emanating from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State in the U.S. was discovered and threatens to contaminate the Columbia River (the largest river in North America west of the continental divide).
- A lot of waste from early reactors was stored in containers meant for only a few decades, but is well past expiration and, resultingly, leaks are furthering contamination.
- Nuclear power plants can be dangerous to its surroundings and employees. It would cost a lot to clean in case of spillages.
- There exist safety concerns if the plant is not operated correctly or conditions arise that were unforeseen when the plant was developed, as happened at the Fukushima plant in Japan; the core melted down following an earthquake and tsunami the plant was not designed to handle despite the world's strongest earthquake codes.
- Many plants, including in the U.S., were designed with the assumption that "rare" events never actually occur, such as strong earthquakes on the east coast (the New Madrid quakes of the 1800s were much stronger than any east coast earthquake codes for nuclear reactors; a repeat of the New Madrid quakes would exceed the designed earthquake resiliency for nuclear reactors over a huge area due to how wide-spread rare but dangerous eastern North American earthquake effects spread), Atlantic tsunami (such as the 1755 Lisbon quake event, which sent significant tsunami that caused damage from Europe to the Caribbean) and strong hurricanes which could affect areas such as New York that are unaccustomed to them (rare, but possibly more likely with global warming)
- Mishaps at nuclear plants can render hundreds of square miles of land uninhabitable and unsuitable for any use for years, decades or longer, and kill off entire river systems
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