Settled Science that Is 'Controversial'

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Nuclear Power Is Safe

Energy and climate policy are two sides of the same coin. We can't seriously address one without addressing the other. Many environmentalists are opposed to nuclear power because they believe it is unsafe. Much of the public agrees. According to a 2009 Pew poll, only 51% are in favor of building more nuclear power plants, compared to 70% of scientists.

The public is under the false impression that nuclear power plants are unsafe because, just like airplane accidents, when things go wrong, they go spectacularly wrong. The Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters were truly frightening events. In the case of Chernobyl, some 4,000 people may die (or already have died) due to cancer; in the case of Fukushima, only time will tell (but it will most likely be less tragic than Chernobyl).

That sounds scary. But consider this: Outdoor air pollution kills 2 million people every single year. The risk from nuclear power pales in comparison.

(Image: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

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