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Do you think that the advantages of nuclear energy outweigh the disadvantages?

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:26 AM via web

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Do you think that the advantages of nuclear energy outweigh the disadvantages?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:33 AM (Answer #1)

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My own feeling is that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in normal circumstances.  However, when normal circumstances end, the consequences can be horrific.  Therefore, it is very difficult to know whether nuclear energy is "worth it."

Usually, the main disadvantage is the problem of how to dispose of radioactive waste.  This is a problem, but not a huge one.  It is outweighed by the value of having a power source that does not pollute.  However, when things go badly wrong, as in Japan last year, nuclear power can be dangerous to a degree that outweighs its benefits.

I would argue that situations like that in Japan are sufficiently rare that nuclear power's benefits outweigh its disadvantages.

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