Article

The Future Can’t Wait: Unite Behind All Clean Energy

Anyone aware of the climate crisis agrees that we must completely phase out fossil fuels as fast as possible to prevent climate and social disasters. We can also all agree that the best way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is to support clean, fossil-free energy everywhere, with all available means.
During the World Climate Action Summit of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP28, last year, more than 20 countries from four continents launched the Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy. The Declaration recognizes the crucial role of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keeping the 1.5-degree goal within reach.
During COP28, more than 20 countries from four continents launched the Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy. Photo credit: Net Zero Nuclear
During COP28, more than 20 countries from four continents launched the Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy. Photo credit: Net Zero Nuclear

According to the International Energy Agency, record-breaking electricity generation from low-emissions sources – which includes nuclear and renewables such as solar, wind, and hydro – is set to cover all global demand growth over the next three years. Low-emissions sources, which will reduce the role of fossil fuels in producing electricity globally, are forecast to account for almost half of the world’s electricity generation by 2026, up from 39% in 2023. This is great news and a testament to the fact that we need to utilize all clean energy sources to push fossil fuels out of the equation.
While support for nuclear power is gaining ground worldwide, many environmental groups still unequivocally oppose nuclear energy, citing "significant safety problems inherent in reactor operation, disposal of spent fuels, and possible diversion of nuclear materials capable of use in weapons manufacture" as the reasons to block construction of any new commercial nuclear fission power plants and extensions of existing power plants.
At Anthropocene Institute, we believe that all clean energy sources are viable and, frankly, necessary to transition away from fossil fuels, and we would like to engage in a respectful and informed dialogue with any environmental groups opposed to nuclear energy. Here are some facts of note:
Safety: What often goes unnoticed is that nuclear power has been steadily improving since its beginnings. Attitudes, business models, and regulations have not kept pace. Nuclear power is safer than ever. Data clearly shows that nuclear power is a much safer and healthier energy source than fossil fuels, which kill roughly 1 in 5 people globally every year.
Waste: Spent fuel and waste are dangerous and should be avoided, right? Reality tells a different story. It isn't the most dangerous waste or even the longest-lived; a lot of it isn't even waste. France successfully recycles spent nuclear fuel and the US used to do that at scale before and the right market and political conditions may revive the industry for commercially spent fuel. The fuel for advanced reactors, such as high-temperature gas, sodium-cooled, and molten salt reactors can use the same pathway for waste management as fuel from light water reactors and can be recycled too. For more information, we recommend reading this comprehensive tutorial by The Breakthrough Institute.
Other uses: Peaceful uses of nuclear energy can contribute to medicine, public health, agriculture, food security, water resources management, sustainable energy, the environment, and more. It is also important to note that nuclear power plants have not been as attractive a target for terrorist attacks as may have been predicted, with attacks and injuries thereof being rare over the past 50 years.
With this, we don’t want to downplay the significance of renewable energy sources. Quite the opposite – we applaud environmentalists' support of renewable energy sources. But we must keep investing in various climate solutions, including nuclear – the clear choice of 24/7 clean energy – even when it feels safer to avoid energy sources that make us uneasy. We want to even the playing field through open dialogue on different energy technologies, and why they are all important tools in solving the climate crisis. We invite everyone to learn the facts and make up their own mind.
  • George Kariuki

    8 w

    This calls for open dialogue and informed decision-making based on factual evidence rather than ideological biases.

    • Munene Mugambi

      9 w

      I must admit that this was a pleasant surprise. When more oil-producing countries embrace such energy forms, our plans reach a wider audience.

      5
      Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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