3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Awesome! 3/3

Three reasons why we should continue
using nuclear energy. One: nuclear energy saves lives. In 2013, a study conducted by NASA found
that nuclear energy has prevented around 1.8 million deaths. Even if you include the death tolls from
Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear energy ranks last in death per
energy unit produced. While nuclear waste is really toxic,
it’s usually stored somewhere, while the toxic byproducts of fossil fuels
are pumped into the air we breathe every day. So, just by reducing the amount of fossil
fuels burned, countless cases of cancer or lung disease and accidents in
coal mines have been avoided. If we can choose between lots of dangerous
stuff being put into a deep hole and lots and lots and lots of dangerous stuff
being pumped into the atmosphere, the former seems more logical. Nuclear energy feels way
more dangerous, though. Single catastrophic events burn into our
memory, while coal and oil kill silently. It’s like the death rate of
flying versus driving. Even in the best-case scenario, it would
take at least forty years to switch to 100%-renewable energy. So, for as long as we continue using
fossil fuels, nuclear energy will save way more lives than it destroys. Two: nuclear energy reduces CO₂ emissions. Nuclear energy is arguably way less
harmful to the environment in terms of climate change than fossil
fuels, our main source of energy. Since 1976, about 64 gigatons of
greenhouse gas emissions have not been pumped out thanks
to nuclear energy. And by the mid-21st century, that could
amount to an additional 80–240 gigatons. Humanity’s energy consumption is
rising steadily. According to US government projections,
China alone will add the equivalent of a new 600-MW coal plant every 10 days
for the next 10 years. China already burns 4 billion tons of
coal each year. Coal is cheap, relatively abundant, and
easy to get to. So it’s not likely that humanity will stop
using it soon. Nuclear energy might be the only way of
dampening the effects of climate change and preventing a catastrophic man-made
global warming. Compared to the other things we do,
nuclear energy is relatively clean. So, even if it is a good idea to quit
nuclear energy long-term, it might be a good solution for
the next hundred years or so, compared to the alternatives. Three: new technologies. Maybe technology will solve the problem of
nuclear waste and dangerous power plants. The nuclear reactors we’ve used so far are
mostly outdated technology, because nuclear innovation
stopped in the 1970s. There are models, like the
thorium reactor, that could solve the problem altogether. Thorium is abundant, really hard to turn
into nuclear weapons, and up to two orders of magnitude less
wasteful than current nuclear reactors. The waste material might also be only
dangerous for a few hundred years, in contrast to a couple of thousand years. 1 ton of thorium is estimated to provide
the same amount of energy as 200 tons of uranium or
3.5 million tons of coal. So while we cannot know for sure if
alternative nuclear technology will keep its promises, shouldn’t we at
least do more research before we forego an opportunity to solve
lots of humanity’s current problems? It may not be an easy challenge,
but that hasn’t stopped us before. So, should we use nuclear energy? There are risks involved in any great
human endeavor, and we have to make an informed decision,
rather than rely on gut feeling. If you want to hear the other
side of the argument, or a short introduction to
nuclear energy, click here. Our channel has a new sponsor:
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100 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Awesome! 3/3

  1. There is also transmutation of nuclear waste which can transform one nuclide to another via neutron interaction in a reaction thereby creating shorter lived nuclides. This can be a potential solution to stored nuclear waste.

  2. All things considered, nuclear energy is our best bet for global energy production, that is until we find a better renewable means.

  3. In my general experience, those who support fossil fuels are not the real ones who misinform the public about nuclear energy and develop fear against it. Most of the times, it's actually the fanatics of wind and solar energy, specifically those who support Green New Deal. That is AT LEAST in MY experience. I've already encountered a lot of them and I've already read a lot of articles both from solar energy supporters and fossil fuel supporters and one thing that I've frequently noticed is that, solar energy supporters frequently demonizes nuclear energy. Again, just to clarify, this is based on MY experience. Thank you

  4. All the same, it may be better than coal, but it's irrelevant if the best answer is wind power. All that's needed is a better energy storage method, or a large enough grid with windmills in enough places that there's no risk of the power going out because of the wind not blowing because it will always be blowing somewhere and the law of averages across the many windfarms will make the power generated similar day in day out. That produces no waste at all, and the energy per dollar is cheapest too.

  5. One of the more interesting pro nuclear energy ideas that I came across is

    “Nuclear power is making people smarter”. How does that work you may ask? There is this condition called the “Flynn effect”. That is where there is strong evidence that average IQ’s. Intelligence Quotient have been increasing over the last several decades. The reason for this increase in IQ’s is said is to be too rapid to be attributed to genetics or evolutionary forces. One can then conclude there must be other non genetic reasons for this increase in IQ. One reason is of course environmental. ( nature vs. nurture) Two known pollutants that has a known effect on IQ are Lead and mercury. Lead in gasoline was added to prevent knock in engines. Thankfully the lead in gasoline was taken out in the 70’s. Lead in child toys and paint on cribs has resulted in brain damage and lower IQ’s. Mercury caused Minamata disease in Japan.

    The other is mercury produced by coal plants. This mercury pollution is coming for American plants and continue to this day. It is believed that coal plants from China that do not need to conform to EPA standards produce mercury pollution that falls on North America.

    Therefore with the construction of nuclear power plants that displaced coal plants. The 103 nuclear plants built in the late 60’s to 1979 therefore prevented the construction of extra coal plants. With a combination of lower mercury pollution by EPA standards and the introduction of unleaded gas. But now that 20% of America’s electrical power comes from nuclear there must have been a decrease in exposure to mercury pollution. This in part must explain the Flynn effect. It certainly is worthy of extra study.

  6. Hey. I am an engineering student in energy and i am currently working on a article on nuclear energy and was wondering on what the sources on this information is?

  7. No nuclear power is not something that is a good thing .yeah we have a lot of power but if we start overusing it then we will end up like fallout 4

  8. After seeing this video, I apologize for my ranting comment on the previous nuclear video. This pointed out pretty much everything right about nuclear that my comment outlined. My appreciation for Kurzgesagt has been raised even more. Thank you for being so thorough in your work! Glad to be a Patron!

  9. Can you recycle solar panels? No. Can you stop killing millions of birds with wind power? No. Can you reduce the cost of energy using solar panels? Nope

  10. What about reducing our energy use ! Instead of either the bad idea of stocking toxic nuclear waste, and the worse one to burn coal, reducing our uses would be the perfect solution ! Let’s stop this consumerism madness, we don’t need amazon we don’t need fast fashion we don’t need more shops, let’s stop « developing » on the planet pretending it’s our right to, we can’t keep using this much energy. We could build smaller systems, coming back to small agriculture, less transport, smaller communities (which also brings more happiness according to science), travel less. Yes it will be hard to give up on our mobility and choice freedom but necessary for our planet, and also beneficial for mental health

  11. There are NO death tolls from Fukushima. Fukushima did not irradiate a single person! Chernobyl is the only accident in nuclear history where people were hurt and intentionally overheating a reactor when you shut down safety features is hardly an accident to begin with.

  12. Its not good idea to quit nuclear long term. It takes and absolute moron to make such a statement. I really hope in the last 4 years you got better writers to do your research.

  13. Nuclear Energy: Killed thousands on Chernobyl, Fukushima, etc.
    Also Nuclear Energy: A small price to pay for salvation

  14. We're living in clown world. There's so much discussion going on about climate change with so little mention of nuclear energy. I think if all the climate activists transitioned into nuclear activists, their efforts would be vastly more effective. Governments don't want to transition to solar or wind because they are transient, and take up huge amounts of space. Seems to me the only thing preventing the best solution is public opinion. We're really shooting ourselves in the foot.

  15. The 1 tonne Thorium to 200 tonnes Uranium claim is misleading. In a theoretical Thorium LSR, 1 tonne is equivalent to around 200 tonnes of Uranium in a Light Water Reactor, however LWRs are the least efficient Uranium reactors. You can achieve similar performance using Uranium breeder reactors.

  16. I am really sorry about it, but this time I don't fully agree with you. Nuclear waste is not a thing you shouldn't think of at all. It makes a lot of groundwater we'll drink sometime very poison, probably deadly for many. Also the radioactive waste stays for over a million years.

    The other problem about nuclear energy is, as you said in the video, the technology is very outdated. For example, I live in germany and there are several atomic reactors which are so much below the security standards than they should be. What i wanna say is, that it is not just a risk over the long time, but also the permanent risk of a nuclear accident which would cause lots of deads and and injures plus a big amount of space where people couldn't live in. All in all: It would be a catastrophe.

    By developing nuclear fusion, which would also take a high effort, we'd maybe have a better soloution for the time we, as you said, couldn't so quickly introduce and assemble renewable engery enough.

    Although all of this doesn't sound so positive, I am very confident we can get full use of renewable energy quickly enough. If we all, including the people with a lot of influencial power, really tried to, we could. In the best case, most part of the world compromises, which would, with a really high chance, save the world by stopping the climate change.

    This maybe sounds a bit negative, but I accually quite apreciate your videos. I am sorry for the grammaticaly incorrect language, but i think it is readable. 🙂

    -A 14 year old german kid sitting infront of it's pc writing a comment, which will hopefully some people see

  17. Nuclear technology is extremely dangerous, but thorium reactors are faaaaaaaar better. And technologies in the past ten years have been much better. It's still a very dangerous method for power overall, but not nearly as bad as hydrocarbons.

  18. i have an idea how to solve nuclear waste and its to build a cannon that shoots nuclear waste in the sun or if we build a REALLY REALLY BIG AND STRONG STRONG CANNNON we maybe can shoot it in to the black hole bc its so far away

  19. although he is right but there is a consequence for example Chernobyl the most catastrophic nuclear accident in the environment and in humanity

  20. well in 1976 – 2009 1976 was before CHERNOBYL happened, and in 1986 which was a time in between 1976 and 2009 and in 1986 April 26 1:23 AM Chernobyl exploded which obliterated the area that it happened in. so nuclear power plants aren’t really safe in many ways.

  21. I like that you make a video about why its good and one why its bad. Other people only talk about the things that make the most money while you are neutral.

  22. Even if nuclear energy was incredibly dangerous, we would at least be buying time rather than continuing with coal until the environment is beyond saving.

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