Setback for nuclear industry

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I’m sure by now you are aware of the nuclear reactors in Japan that are failing due to the massive earthquake. Although the situation with the reactors is still unfolding and so far, nothing too serious has happened. Still, countries around the world are taking a second look at their own nuclear rectors, their energy policy and their plans for the future.

Some countries, like Germany, have already said that they will re-visit their nuclear energy policy. All this bad publicity for nuclear energy is bringing down uranium mining stocks, as well as, other companies and sectors related to nuclear energy. However, some people think this is¬†unnecessary. Business TV personality and very smart person, Kevin O’Leary has said that the reactors in question in Japan are 40 years old and are still holding up relatively well considering what they just went through. He says that with today’s technology which is far better in these situations, the future of nuclear energy is even better than before this disaster occurred, given the lessons we will learn about future reactor designing based on this disaster.

Now I’m no nuclear expert, but if what he is saying is true about today’s nuclear technologies, then he does make a good point. Nuclear energy has both a lot of supporters and haters. Those who support it point to it being a much cleaner alternative than oil and will also reduce dependence on unfriendly nations. Those against it point to the toxic waste it produces and at the fact that if a big earthquake or other natural disaster occurs, we might see millions of people get radiation poisoning. Well, that last argument may have just been squashed. If these Japanese reactors end up not releasing a lot of radiation and making people sick, then it means that 40 year old reactors stood up to the 4th worst earthquake since 1900 and won.

Even though nuclear may not look great right now, maybe this disaster is showing that it really is great. I think over the next week or so once the dust settles, we will realize that nuclear is actually a good energy choice. Also, this disaster could make us smarter in developing better reactors now that we know what damage from an earthquake looks like.