I am a huge proponent of Nuclear Power only because my daughter has a Great Aunt that worked for GE as a Nuclear Physicist and as part of a team that developed the Nuclear Capability in our US Naval Vessels. She told me that despite not having nuclear power plants built in the US in the last 3 decades or so, they are continuing to research and design nuclear power plant designs, and they are quite impressive.
IF a new one was to be built today, it would reduce the nuclear waste by 90% compared to those online now, and would produce more power and with longer lifespans.
I think we have seen that despite a few catastrophic issues; 3 mile island, Chernobyl and Japan's Earthquake; the world can survive when things go wrong. While I realize this is a coal board, and I am a HUGE proponent of coal, and use it myself of course, when you tally up the number of deaths from Nuclear Power you get a net return of zero, where as last year coal mining killed 21 people in the US alone. And if you look at photos of Chernobyl 20 years later, the devastation that they predicted did not occur. One of the things they claimed was that the most respectable living things to radiation contamination was trees, and yet they shocked the science world when trees are flourishing over there. I saw video of a soccer arena that was filled with trees 6 inches in diameter and growing 40 feet high...and they were playing soccer on that field in 1986 so it has recovered quite well.
When I watched our last ship get ready for sea trials, I watched a parade of tanker trucks roll in for 3 days straight, 24 hours a day pumping 635,000 gallons of jet fuel on board that old Destroyer design kind of ship as that is what they use for propulsion. Engines, generators, everything is jet-engine powered and the consumption was incredible. The operating machinist noted we were consuming just over 1 gallon per second of jet fuel when we tested #4 generator room at full output and that was a VERY small jet engine compared to what turns the props. Now keep in mind, it takes 15 gallons of fuel to get 1 gallon of fuel to consumption, so in reality, that ONE generator room, burns 16 gallons of fuel per second, and this is just one of 300 ships in the navy. If we went to nuclear power for most of this ships, we would greatly reduce our need for oil! It could be done, we have the technology to do that and according to my daughter's Aunt, one reason American Sailors are protected from radiation is because the "hot side shielding" is 7 inches thick, where as radiation poisoning on Russian Vessels is 1 out of 4 sailors, is because they only provide 1" of shielding.
But I realize no one wants nuclear power plants in their backyard or their sailors to be next to nuclear radiation, but now if Obama would only cram some in every corner of America, using the same techniques that he uses on his health care reform and gun control...well I guess we would have them now wouldn't we?
But what do I know, I am just a dumb sheep farmer.