Of all of the various forms of green energy, nuclear energy has the worst reputation of them all. The worst thing that people will usually say about wind power and solar power, for instance, is that these forms of power are inadequate and will not give people the returns that they need in order to really power a society that runs on large amounts of energy. Nuclear energy is often seen as a cruel joke. The public has thoroughly absorbed the message that nuclear power is inherently dangerous, and that the safety measures designed to curb its potential problems will never suffice. Nuclear energy really is a legitimate source of power, however, and the negative stereotypes surrounding it do all of society a disservice.
Old Negative Safety Allegations
The tragedies involving problems with the nuclear power plants of the world are quite well-documented. Many people can recite the Chernobyl disaster immediately, without fully understanding the causes of that terrible tragedy. It should be noted that the Soviets were infamous for having very poor safety regulations when it came to their power plants, and that Chernobyl was largely to result of terrible negligence. In societies that have better regulations, a disaster like Chernobyl would simply never happen.
France receives a great deal of its power from nuclear energy, and France has rarely had any of the sort of problems that make people doubt the viability of nuclear energy. Many other European countries have been able to enjoy all of the same benefits. As terrible as nuclear tragedies are, they are actually avoidable through the right safety regulations. It should also be noted that the forms of energy that people assume are safer than nuclear energy are often far worse.
Coal Versus Nuclear Energy
People will often point to nuclear waste when they are criticizing nuclear energy. They should note that disposing of nuclear waste is getting easier, and that the process is getting more efficient all the time. Coal ash is significantly more radioactive, and yet many people do not criticize coal-fired power plants as vigorously as they criticize nuclear energy. Even many environmentalists are more concerned about nuclear energy than the fossil fuels that it is supposed to replace.
When nuclear energy is being produced properly, it is one of the cleanest forms of energy imaginable, in sharp contrast to coal. Every aspect of coal is dirty, including the actual burning of it and the extraction of it in the first place. However, coal is more familiar to many people, which is why they are often more comfortable with it than they are with nuclear energy, a more technical and unfamiliar form of energy that still seems new and scary after several decades.
Nuclear energy is still part of the portfolio of options when it comes to renewable energy. Solar, wind, geothermal, and similar types of green energy are viable. However, nuclear energy produces a lot of power, and this is the sort of source that can serve as a basis for an economy even with current technology.