We have problems with nuclear energy because we generally choose not to correct them. Weaning ourselves off of nuclear energy would be like weaning ourselves off of the future. The power sources anti-nuclear people advocate are either older than nuclear energy or not as efficient.
Whether people want to believe it or not, this world would be lifeless if it weren’t for nuclear energy in one form or another. Geothermal energy is the result of the nuclear core being so hot that it superheats the material around it to form magma and geothermal pockets that turn water into high-pressure steam. If it weren’t for the nuclear core, Old Faithful wouldn’t exist and Iceland would just be another frozen island in the North Atlantic.
The sun is a nuclear fusion reactor. Solar electric and solar steam energy would be impossible if it weren’t for that giant nuclear power plant. In the future, we will use the solar winds and the charged particles emitted to generate electricity. That means that in the future, the largest solar energy generation systems will be located in space. If they use a charged particle carrier beam system, that means they may have nuclear reactors aboard the plants out in geosynchronous orbit.
Mining and refining uranium should be done robotically. The less exposure to humans the better. Also, robot mining can be done around the clock which means it will be faster and more efficient. The only change in shift might be the people who monitor the work from above the ground. Once the system proves to be great for uranium mining, coal mining should soon follow. Ironically, more people have died from the effects of coal-fired electrical generation plants than from nuclear power plants.
Safety has brought protesters out in droves. In White Plains, New York a few years ago at the County Center, people for and against the Indian Point plants assembled to express their points of view. At least one man was holding a sign that showed a plane crashing into a dome at Indian Point. On 9/11, one of the planes that crashed into the towers could have crashed into Indian Point Unit 2 or 3 instead. A man toward the back yelled out, “The terrorists on 9/11 were lousy pilots. They missed Indian Point and hit two tall buildings instead.” It could be because the plane that was heard flying low over the Hudson on that day would have slid off of the dome and produced little damage. The death toll would have been those on the plane and maybe some people outside the plant. With steel rebarb being thicker than your arm, layers of that, and at least three feet of cement at the top of the dome, penetrating one of the domes with a plane made of mainly light and thin aluminum would have the same effect as smashing a beer can into a cement wall. Even if a plane could penetrate one of the domes, the containment vessel is still several meters away from the dome and is made from steel and lead mainly. Using a plane to cause a nuclear accident at a reactor facility is next to impossible unless the plane were able to hit the spent rod containment pool.
When nuclear waste is moved, it is contained so well that if a truck traveling at 70 mph carrying a cask of waste slams into a cement wall, the cask remains intact. The same thing happens if trains or planes are used. It also will make sense to keep the waste stored in one place where it can be fully protected than scattered throughout the nation so that terrorists can get to the material. But if Red Rover reactors and “garbage” reactors are constructed that will use nuclear waste to generate more power, nuclear waste will become an energy source. Even fission/fusion reactors will be able to use waste to generate the particles to form heavy hydrogen, superheat the mass, and create compression fields that will fuse the material into helium and liberate energy that will be used to form a plasma that will heat water or gas to form steam in generators.
Once injection reactors are perfected along with fission/fusion and fusion reactors, nuclear energy will become much more important. Instead of just France getting most of its electricity from nuclear power, the United States will too. We will become energy independent once that happens. Even the price of gas will plunge below $1 a gallon once electric vehicles, especially those that use injection reactors and stacked flywheel units, start to replace vehicles that need gasoline or diesel fuel. But if fear and technical backwardness is allowed to dictate our actions, nuclear power may become the most promising energy source that fails to honor its promises.