The political climate in the United States is fraudulently unfavorable toward nuclear power in all its forms. This attitude was derived from the Cold War, the specter of nuclear disaster, Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) politics, corrupt special interests, and false media attention. This attitude is killing a brilliant potential source of electricity, money, and national power. The United States has been extremely slow to adopt the most reliable, safest, most powerful, and most profitable form of power production currently in existence.
France has not been slow to adopt nuclear power; its government instituted a comprehensive nuclear plan focused on energy independence in the 1970s. Since that point, it installed more than 50 nuclear reactors all over the nation and has created a brilliantly successful nuclear program. The results have demonstrated the energy policy's effectiveness: France receives billions of Euros in exports from selling power to other European nations. Today, France is known as the undisputed nuclear pioneer and power of the world. It is this success that the United States has the opportunity to emulate, but has so far failed to do so.
The United States currently produces about 20 percent of its power from nuclear sources and two-thirds from fossil fuels; 50 percent of this total is from coal power. Initially, the profusion of natural resources on the North American continent blessed us and enabled rapid industrialization, but continued reliance upon it has stunted our ability to progress to better sources of energy like nuclear power.The existing infrastructure of fossil fuel power sources has discouraged the evolution of American electrical production.
The difference is clear: nuclear power produces no significant pollution. The radioactive waste is produced in relatively small quantities as compared to fossil fuel sources, and radioactive waste is not released into the environment. Storage techniques prevent nuclear waste from having any effect whatsoever on the environment. Coal power, however, pumps voluminous clouds of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, while the only atmospheric effects of nuclear power are water and heat in the form of steam.
The best future course for the United States is clear if the interests of the nation are considered. Nuclear power will provide cheap and affordable electricity for the nation, and it will also make concepts like electric cars a practical reality. Electric cars are already viable in France because of their reliance on nuclear technology, but an electric car here does not remove reliance upon f="/Fos sil Fuels">fossil fuels because of where that electricity comes from. Those voicing concerns about the safety of nuclear technology should note that France has not had a single significant incident since the introduction of its clean and reliable new power source.