What do you think of mainstream opposition to nuclear energy amongst green political groups?

I’m of the opinion that it’s far from a durable solution but shouldn’t be phased out as long as we don’t have a clear and viable plan to implement other renewable energy sources. What’s your take?


My view is that we are in a middle of a climate disaster and a mass extinction. While I’m all for renewables, I also recognize that we have a very short timeline to do anything meaningful, and at this point we have to be leveraging all the tools that we have at our disposal. If our biosphere collapses then everything else becomes a bit of a moot point.

The main arguments against nuclear power are the risks associated with accidents and waste processing. Modern reactors are quite safe however, and it looks like it may even be possible to make reactors that can’t have a meltdown. Meanwhile, there are a few approaches to reusing spent fuel. A few examples can be seen here, here, and here.

So, I don’t think that the problems associated with nuclear tech are intractable, and they’re a far better alternative to continuing using fossil fuels.

I also think that a lot more funding should be going towards fusion research as it eliminates waste and meltdown problems while also producing far more energy in the process.


That pretty much sums up my view as well

I just spent a week in nuclear research facility seminars and I can’t think of anything you’ve missed haha good job.

Currently people are working towards “walk away” reactor systems that do not need human interaction and will shutdown themselves. Waste is being reused and recycled producing nuggets of non-recyclable waste that can then be safely stored. While safely stored usually means mixed into concrete and buried there’s really no chance of contamination unless someone blows it up and even then.


We really need MSRs (molten salt reactors) asap. Many of their designs are walk away safe.


I think that modern nuclear is infinitely superior to gas or coal, and that opposition to it doesn’t push us to using solar/hydro/wind/etc, but keeps us burning fossil fuels. Build the damn nuke plants already.

My father is a meteorologist and works for a power company. He says nuclear power right now is inefficient and potentially dangerous due to how hard it is to innovate in the field. That the notable disasters are all results of major corner cutting and easily and completely inexcusable mistakes. If innovation wasn’t stunted by ancient regulation that we could have a major decrease in waste and less dangerous waste at that. I haven’t talked to him about it recently but I do think that most forms of green energy aren’t ready yet and nuclear is sustainable and clean as in not polluting the earth like coal is, making it a short term assistance to green power and potentially a long term secondary source. I’m not a power expert that’s just my uneducated position.

What country are you in? When you say it’s hard to innovate are you talking about pure research or application to industry?

I assume he was talking about both but especially application to industry and the US.

I cant talk about application but research in europe and oz is well funded and open.

Honestly I dont understand the culture and regulations of the US. It seems like half of the checks and balances is to stop people from taking advantage of their fellow man in the way thats so common in US daily life that doesnt occur in the rest of the anglosphere


I think of the Fallout series when nuclear power is mentioned xD I think Stephen Hawking commented that nuclear power would be best for a green future. What if it’s used for space exploration/travel/colonizing?


Nuclear power fits perfectly in the self-destructive behavior that humans have shown for thousands of years. Many years ago when I was a kid I read in a magazine that a French inventor had managed to invent a superb vehicle which would not need fossil fuel. The invention was bought by Shell, and never heard of again. As long as money is at stake, and with capitalism a dominant “force”, a lot of humans cannot be trusted. The drawbacks of nuclear energy have been shown already, and not just in Chernobyl. It is time that humans put planet Earth at number one priority. Leaving our children and their children with long lasting nuclear waste is not a sustainable solution. There are loads of other options which are much better e.g. getting energy from the movement of sea waves.


I’m not going to disagree on the sustainability of nuclear on the long run but we still need a few decades for other green energy sources to be consistently implemented. There still is a lot of technical details to work out before wave energy is developed on any large scale, and solar/wind are fairly polluting and expensive to manufacture and maintain. Unfortunately getting rid of nuclear now is a huge coin toss. Say a government decides to close nuclear powers to replace them with a green source, it’s not too far fetch to expect that a future fiscally conservative administration is just going to replace them with fossil fuels.


Quite a lot of years ago the Green party was in the parliament in Germany and a process started to get rid of nuclear power. I was delighted to hear that, but I didn’t follow that story very closely afterwards. Here’s some figures : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Germany


Would’ve been better if they did get rid of (brown) coal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany Brown coal: 20% Hard coal: 10%

I think it is better to give the next generation nuclear waste instead of toxic air.

Half of the platform of their oposition was marxists projecting environmental progress as a blight against the working class to oppress the free pillage of the natural resources garenteed to them. I think that influenced the deciaion on coal. Im no expert though.

Not sure a lack of nuclear power has improved germany. But their renewables are pretty impressive.

Of course the discussion of nuclear tech is very different thirty years later.


I forgot about this : A friend of mine told me last year that at home people can build small scale wind turbines. He knows a guy who gets everything in his house powered by just self-build small wind-turbines. Needs to be said that he is careful and doesn’t use devices that demand a lot of power. Then I’d like to add that in Holland, with not a very sunny climate, solar panels for customers really pays off in monthly costs. I hope that more people will start using it. And I guess getting rid of over-sized TVs, fridges and computers monitors also helps to use less power :) We can point at governments, but we, in the “western world” can do a lot ourselves to make a change.


I believe that it should be the West’s priority to create opportunities for affordable green power solutions in developing countries. The best scenario is if these countries mainly used solar, wind, and hydro energy, but nuclear energy would still be good.


absolute nothing for the future, but the already built ones can be used for some time.

According to a scientist i have watched, we have

  • ~7-8 years before the 1,5 target is reached.
  • and ~18 years before the 2 degree target is reached.
  • Probably much less because the accelerating factors like: extreme rain for one period and then long period of not much rain -> forsest is very dry -> forest burns down in summer -> releases CO2 -> accelerates climate change -> greenhouse effect causes permafrost in siberia to thaw -> releases frozen CO2/methane in form of ancient, dead plants and animals -> more CO2 -> ice in greenland melts faster -> less reflection from the ice of greenland -> more heat/extreme weather -> antarctica also melts (but slower compared to greenland, because the water under it doesn’t change from warm to cold) -> we have more water in the ocean -> more risk of floods -> more people fleeing from big cities and more people being killed by floods and in general extreme weather

also, i’ve read that the usual time to build a nuclear power plant is between 10 and 20 years. Which means its of no good use to prevent climate catastrophy: after the 2 degree target has reached, nuclear power plants will be destroyed by extreme weather effects. Which means, the environment, ocean, etc. will be radioactive because of the nuclear waste. Which means fish and animals will die. Which means CO2 will be released (from the animal bodies), which means the climate changes even faster.

in short: its bad.


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