NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 4, 2005

The United States needs to join the rest of the world and accept nuclear power as an energy source that's proven itself clean, safe and efficient, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

While nuclear energy will probably never account for 80 percent of our electric power, as it does in France, we could certainly cut deeply into our use of coal and gas, says IBD.

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute:

  • In 1973, the dawn of the nuclear power age, oil generated 17 percent of our electric power, compared to only 3 percent today.
  • The use of coal, a dirty and dangerous source, has risen from 45.6 percent in 1973 to 50 percent in 2004.
  • If current nuclear production were doubled to 40 percent, IBD says the use of coal would fall from 50 percent to 36 percent and natural gas would slip from 17.7 percent to 13 percent.

Although skeptics are slowly being convinced, fear still persists. Opponents fret over the safety of nuclear energy, but IBD says more children under the age of five have drowned in 5-gallon buckets (58) than have died in nuclear power accidents in the West since the advent of atomic energy (zero).

Furthermore, not one person died nor was one person even hurt during the worst nuclear plant accident in U.S. history at Three Mile Island. IBD says the incident turned out to be a blessing, prompting extensive changes in emergency response planning, operator training and radiation protection and making nuclear power safer.

Source: Editorial, "The Lights Go On," Investor's Business Daily, March 28, 2005.

For Nuclear Energy Institute


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