The Environment Needs Nuclear

Part 4:
Nuclear power has a superb safety record during more than 11,000 reactor-years of experience.

The 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine - the only reactor accident to cause fatalities - severely blemished the image of nuclear energy. The reactor type involved lacked any containment structure to prevent radioactive release in emergencies, and would not be licensed anywhere in the world today.

Chernobyl spurred the creation of the World Association of Nuclear Operators, a network - encompassing every commercial reactor in the world - through which utility owners cooperate to promote best-practice standards as part of a global nuclear safety culture.

Under no circumstances can a commercial-type power reactor explode like a nuclear bomb.

The record shows that commercial nuclear power is much safer than fossil-fuel systems in terms both of human risk during fuel production and also the health and environmental effects of fuel consumption. Meanwhile, fatal accidents have occurred frequently in burst dams, coal-mine explosions and gas-pipeline fires.

Strict national and international nuclear regulatory regimes guard the safety of nuclear workers, the public and the environment. Each nuclear power plant is required to give first priority to security measures and emergency-response plans to protect the public from exposure to radioactivity.

Today's nuclear reactors use a "defence in depth" strategy - comprised of multiple layers of robust physical protection and backup safety systems - to prevent any release of radioactivity even under worst-case conditions.

Zdroj: WNA

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