Is there a future for nuclear energy?


In the 1950s, nuclear energy was all the rage, promising to supply the world all of it’s energy. With the passing of time however, nuclear energy has faded from innovative to cumbersome.

Nuclear energy is costly, dangerous, and powerful. As the world looks to cleaner sources of energy, what does this hold for the future of nuclear energy?

Several large-scale incidents have paved the way for nuclear energy way out, including the incident at Chernobyl in 1986 and more recently Fukushima’s nuclear accident in 2011.

Mostly likely as a result of the disaster in Fukushima, Germany decided to phase out nuclear power altogether by 2022.

Also, South Korea, which invested many years into its nuclear energy technology will be scaling back in their nuclear energy consumption and released a plan called the “One Less Nuclear Power Plant” initiative one year after the incident in Fukushima.

Public opinion about the reliability of nuclear energy has tanked, putting politicians and world leaders in the midst to figure out what to do next. But it’s more than just public opinion, keeping nuclear energy around has a lot to do with economics.

While nuclear energy in the United States does offer some benefits, it’s too expensive to maintain when you take into account all of the money spent in making sure it’s done safely.

“You can make it go fast, and you can make it be cheap — but not if you adhere to the standard of care that we do,” said Mark Cooper of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, referring to the United States regulatory body. “Nuclear safety always undermines nuclear economics. Inherently, it’s a technology whose time never comes.”