Theoretically speaking, nuclear energy seems like the perfect alternative.
Let’s not get into the confusing physics behind it too much. You take “stuff”, and you either smash it together to make larger stuff (fusion) or you split it up to make smaller stuff (fission). That’s about as simple as I can make it.
But there’s a catch: nuclear energy production produces waste. And it has the potential to go really, really wrong.
Nuclear energy doesn’t just produce waste, it produces radioactive waste. And right now, our solution to what to do with that radioactive waste is to store it underneath a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Seems sustainable…
Additionally, we’ve all seen some of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear energy generation gone wrong. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima.
In terms of energy produced compared to resources devoted, nuclear energy does seem perfect. After all, it seems like there’s an endless supply of “stuff”. A study conducted by the World Nuclear Association finds that energy devoted to production represents a mere 1-3% of the total energy produced post-production.
The issue, of course is long-term feasibility and sustainability. It seems like the perfect alternative until it goes wrong and leaves a no-man land of 1000 square miles in its wake (Chernobyl).
Despite all the benefits, the return on resources, the endless power generation, the effects are simply too severe for nuclear energy to be a long-term, sustainable alternative energy source.
Ultimately, ask yourself: Would you want a nuclear power plant near your town?