Commentary | There are more sustainable solutions available

Re: “Nuclear choice is our prerogative” | Commentary | March 28

I would like to point out that nuclear energy is not the only solution to the climate crisis we face, and its efficiency is not reason enough to settle for it. It is true that we must act now to fight climate change, but nuclear energy is not a stable long term-solution to energy production.
The environmental harms of nuclear energy production aside, it has been reported that the amount of uranium (from which nuclear power is produced) known to exist would last between 42 and 72 years at current levels of consumption. Many proponents of nuclear energy hope to dramatically increase the use of nuclear power, which would cause this resource to be depleted much more rapidly. Thus, we will be facing the same issue with uranium that we currently face with fossil fuels – a huge dependence on a resource that is quickly running out. Additionally, nuclear waste poses a huge problem. This waste, unshielded, will remain a hazard for 12,000 human generations, or 360,000 years, which is longer than the human species has even existed. It is also linked to dramatic peaks in cancer and other diseases in areas surrounding nuclear plants and disposal sites. To prevent exposure to nuclear waste, governments have developed underground storage sites, but face opposition from locals. If we cannot propose successful solutions to these problems now, how will we be able to deal with that much more nuclear power and waste?
Renewable energy must continue to be a growing field of energy production, for it does not rely on a source that can become depleted, and it does not produce waste. While the technology surrounding renewable energy is not yet able to produce all of the energy we consume, it would be irresponsible to create such problems for future generations, and foolish to settle on a reliance on nuclear energy when we have another, less dangerous solution at our fingertips.

Allison Filler
U1 Linguistics and History

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