The Environment Needs Nuclear
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
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
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