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Do we need nuclear power for sustainable energy production?
Accidents can have major consequences because they release radioactive materials.
The Fukushima Disaster in 2011 reveals how dangerous nuclear power can be.
Because of the nature of nuclear power and the centralised way it is produced, nuclear accidents tend to be bigger in scale than other forms of sustainable energy. Therefore perceptions of the danger are distorted.
The risk of a
is being reduced by new technology: recently developed forms of fuel
encase uranium in ceramic
, which is almost impossible to melt.
The consequences of a nuclear accident aren't "major", some victims get cancer much later in life and radiation doesn't make existing cancers worse, it only creates new ones.
Radioactive particulate release from coal-fired plants is part of their normal operation. It's a far larger problem and replacing coal with nuclear could reduce the scale of radioactive pollution.
The ecological consequences of nuclear power plant disasters are largely positive, since humans avoid the area, allowing it to thrive.