The transport of hydrocarbon fuels is hazardous and risky. Premature release of their contained energy can be disastrous, and should be considered alongside the risks and problems of their continued use as a power-source.
Coal is not a “clean” energy solution, and incomplete combustion leads to very harmful byproducts, and as a result, its usage is dwindling down. However, fossil fuels are still in use in power plants, and they’re merely “the better of two evils.” As our sources of fuel wane, our alternatives multiply, but viable alternatives are still meager. Currently, our cleanest means of energy generation is nuclear power, using uranium as fuel. The uranium is not burned, but is expended through deterioration, to generate heat, used to turn steam-powered turbines. The most prevalent fear of nuclear power is one that is often misinformed: the power plant exploding like a nuclear bomb. There is no combustion being done in the reactor, and a meltdown is not an explosion. It is aptly named a meltdown, because the fuel rods overheat, damaging the reactor, and forcing it to need to shut down. The scariest part of this is the lack of electricity and the consequential blackout that can happen. Considering this is one of the only problems with nuclear power, it is well-accounted for, and protected against. Modern approaches make meltdowns nearly impossible, with numerous methods of protection against it. The opponents of nuclear power also point out that waste products are also radioactive and must be disposed of until enough time passes and the waste is no longer radioactive. This is done by storage in deep bunkers, and when the appropriate amount of time has passed, the waste is no longer so hazardous that it can’t find new uses.
Lastly, if gas stations also doubled as power stations, we could use nuclear power from the power grid to charge batteries that’d be traded out at the power stations, and we could have cars running on indirect nuclear power. We already have the technology, the only thing holding us back, is our reliance on hydrocarbon fuels.
What do you think? Should the country hurry up and make the change to nuclear power already instead of just waiting on the next big advancement in sustainable energy sources?