(Old article) ABC News: Obama says safe nuclear power plants are a necessary investment
After watching the news for the past few weeks as crude oil ruins the environment in the Gulf of Mexico because of a human error
, how much validity is there in thinking that nuclear power is 'safe'? If we can't figure-out a guaranteed way to keep oil from leaking out into our oceans, how on earth are we going to ensure that our nuclear reactors will never expose humans to radioactive waste... or worse... a melt-down?!?!?
The simple answer is that there is no such thing as a 'safe' nuclear reactor
, just as there is apparently no such thing as an oil derrick that will never leak oil into the ocean and wreak havoc on our environment. Human beings make mistakes. Back-up systems fail. Even if we employed super humans at nuclear reactor sites that never made mistakes, nature is much more powerful than anything man can make and can easily destroy even the most well-made nuclear (via hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc.)
The one huge difference between the oil problem and nuclear waste is that the oil problem can likely be contained and cleaned-up in less than a person's lifetime (I hope!) However, the half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years
and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years
. No matter who's theory you believe as to how human life got started, we haven't even been on this earth as long as the half-life of these elements!
We as a human race cannot afford to play around with something that dangerous. One mistake on our part will sacrifice the lives and well being for generations into the future that we can't even conceive. I cannot justify being so selfish as to put so much as stake just so I can get some cheap power to turn on my computer at night.