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How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment | Michael Shellenberger

Have you heard the news? We’re in a clean energy revolution. And where I live in Berkeley, California, it seems like every day I see a new roof
with new solar panels going up, electric car in the driveway. Germany sometimes gets
half its power from solar, and India is now committed
to building 10 times more solar than we have in California, by the year 2022. Even nuclear seems to be
making a comeback. Bill Gates is in China
working with engineers, there’s 40 different companies
that are working together to try to race to build the first
reactor that runs on waste, that can’t melt down and is cheaper than coal. And so you might start to ask: Is this whole global warming problem going to be a lot easier to solve
than anybody imagined? That was the question we wanted to know, so my colleagues and I decided
to take a deep dive into the data. We were a little skeptical of some parts of the clean energy revolution story, but what we found really surprised us. The first thing is that clean
energy has been increasing. This is electricity from clean energy
sources over the last 20 years. But when you look at
the percentage of global electricity from clean energy sources, it’s actually been in decline
from 36 percent to 31 percent. And if you care about climate change, you’ve got to go in the opposite direction to 100 percent of our electricity
from clean energy sources, as quickly as possible. Now, you might wonder, “Come on, how much could five percentage
points of global electricity be?” Well, it turns out to be quite a bit. It’s the equivalent of 60 nuclear plants the size of Diablo Canyon,
California’s last nuclear plant, or 900 solar farms the size of Topaz, which is one of the biggest
solar farms in the world, and certainly our biggest in California. A big part of this is simply
that fossil fuels are increasing faster than clean energy. And that’s understandable. There’s just a lot of poor countries that are still using wood
and dung and charcoal as their main source of energy, and they need modern fuels. But there’s something else going on, which is that one of those clean energy
sources in particular has actually been on the decline
in absolute terms, not just relatively. And that’s nuclear. You can see its generation
has declined seven percent over the last 10 years. Now, solar and wind have been
making huge strides, so you hear a lot of talk
about how it doesn’t really matter, because solar and wind
is going to make up the difference. But the data says something different. When you combine all the electricity
from solar and wind, you see it actually barely makes up
half of the decline from nuclear. Let’s take a closer look
in the United States. Over the last couple of years —
really 2013, 2014 — we prematurely retired
four nuclear power plants. They were almost entirely
replaced with fossil fuels, and so the consequence
was that we wiped out almost as much clean energy
electricity that we get from solar. And it’s not unique to us. People think of California
as a clean energy and climate leader, but when we looked at the data, what we found is that, in fact, California reduced emissions more slowly
than the national average, between 2000 and 2015. What about Germany? They’re doing a lot of clean energy. But when you look at the data, German emissions have actually
been going up since 2009, and there’s really not anybody
who’s going to tell you that they’re going to meet
their climate commitments in 2020. The reason isn’t hard to understand. Solar and wind provide power
about 10 to 20 percent of the time, which means that when
the sun’s not shining, the wind’s not blowing, you still need power for your hospitals, your homes, your cities, your factories. And while batteries have made
some really cool improvements lately, the truth is, they’re just never
going to be as efficient as the electrical grid. Every time you put electricity
into a battery and take it out, you lose about 20 to 40
percent of the power. That’s why when, in California, we try to deal with all the solar
we’ve brought online — we now get about 10 percent
of electricity from solar — when the sun goes down,
and people come home from work and turn on their air conditioners
and their TV sets, and every other appliance in the house, we need a lot of natural gas backup. So what we’ve been doing is stuffing a lot of natural gas
into the side of a mountain. And that worked pretty well for a while, but then late last year,
it sprung a leak. This is Aliso Canyon. So much methane gas was released, it was the equivalent of putting
half a million cars on the road. It basically blew through all
of our climate commitments for the year. Well, what about India? Sometimes you have to go places
to really get the right data, so we traveled to India a few months ago. We met with all the top officials —
solar, nuclear, the rest — and what they told us is, “We’re actually having
more serious problems than both Germany and California. We don’t have backup;
we don’t have all the natural gas. And that’s just the start of it. Say we want to get
to 100 gigawatts by 2022. But last year we did just five, and the year before that, we did five.” So, let’s just take
a closer look at nuclear. The United Nations Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change has looked at the carbon content
of all these different fuels, and nuclear comes out really low —
it’s actually lower even than solar. And nuclear obviously
provides a lot of power — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During a year, a single plant can provide
power 92 percent of the time. What’s interesting is that
when you look at countries that have deployed different
kinds of clean energies, there’s only a few that have done so at a pace consistent with dealing
with the climate crisis. So nuclear seems like
a pretty good option, but there’s this big problem with it, which all of you, I’m sure, are aware of, which is that people really don’t like it. There was a study, a survey done
of people around the world, not just in the United States or Europe, about a year and a half ago. And what they found is that nuclear is actually one
of the least popular forms of energy. Even oil is more popular than nuclear. And while nuclear kind of
edges out coal, the thing is, people don’t really fear coal
in the same way they fear nuclear, which really operates on our unconscious. So what is it that we fear? There’s really three things. There’s the safety
of the plants themselves — the fears that they’re going
to melt down and cause damage; there’s the waste from them; and there’s the association with weapons. And I think, understandably, engineers look at those concerns
and look for technological fixes. That’s why Bill Gates is in China
developing advanced reactors. That’s why 40 different entrepreneurs
are working on this problem. And I, myself, have been
very excited about it. We did a report:
“How to Make Nuclear Cheap.” In particular, the thorium reactor
shows a lot of promise. So when the climate
scientist, James Hansen, asked if I wanted to go to China with him and look at the Chinese
advanced nuclear program, I jumped at the chance. We were there with MIT
and UC Berkeley engineers. And I had in my mind that the Chinese would be able
to do with nuclear what they did with so many other things — start to crank out small nuclear
reactors on assembly lines, ship them up like iPhones or MacBooks
and send them around the world. I would get one at home in Berkeley. But what I found was somewhat different. The presentations were all
very exciting and very promising; they have multiple reactors
that they’re working on. The time came for the thorium reactor,
and a bunch of us were excited. They went through the whole presentation,
they got to the timeline, and they said, “We’re going to have
a thorium molten salt reactor ready for sale to the world by 2040.” And I was like, “What?” (Laughter) I looked at my colleagues and I was like, “Excuse me — can you guys speed that up a little bit? Because we’re in a little bit
of a climate crisis right now. And your cities are really
polluted, by the way.” And they responded back, they were like, “I’m not sure what you’ve heard
about our thorium program, but we don’t have a third of our budget, and your department of energy
hasn’t been particularly forthcoming with all that data you guys
have on testing reactors.” And I said, “Well, I’ve got an idea. You know how you’ve got 10 years
where you’re demonstrating that reactor? Let’s just skip that part, and let’s just go right
to commercializing it. That will save money and time.” And the engineer just
looked at me and said, “Let me ask you a question: Would you buy a car that had never
been demonstrated before?” So what about the other reactors? There’s a reactor that’s coming online
now, they’re starting to sell it. It’s a high-temperature gas reactor. It can’t melt down. But it’s really big and bulky,
that’s part of the safety, and nobody thinks
it’s going to ever get cheaper than the reactors that we have. The ones that use waste as fuel
are really cool ideas, but the truth is, we don’t actually know how to do that yet. There’s some risk that you’ll
actually make more waste, and most people think
that if you’re including that waste part of the process, it’s just going to make the whole
machine a lot more expensive, it’s just adding another complicated step. The truth is, there’s real questions about how much
of that we’re going to do. I mean, we went to India and asked
about the nuclear program. The government said
before the Paris climate talks that they were going to do something
like 30 new nuclear plants. But when we got there
and interviewed people and even looked at the internal documents, they’re now saying
they’re going to do about five. And in most of the world,
especially the rich world, they’re not talking
about building new reactors. We’re actually talking
about taking reactors down before their lifetimes are over. Germany’s actually pressuring
its neighbors to do that. I mentioned the United States — we could lose half of our reactors
over the next 15 years, which would wipe out 40 percent
of the emissions reductions we’re supposed to get
under the Clean Power Plan. Of course, in Japan, they took
all their nuclear plants offline, replaced them with coal,
natural gas, oil burning, and they’re only expected to bring
online about a third to two-thirds. So when we went through the numbers, and just added that up — how much nuclear do we see
China and India bringing online over the next 15 years, how much do we see at risk
of being taken offline — this was the most startling finding. What we found is that
the world is actually at risk of losing four times more clean energy
than we lost over the last 10 years. In other words: we’re not
in a clean energy revolution; we’re in a clean energy crisis. So it’s understandable that engineers
would look for a technical fix to the fears that people have of nuclear. But when you consider
that these are big challenges to do, that they’re going to take
a long time to solve, there’s this other issue, which is: Are those technical fixes
really going to solve people’s fears? Let’s take safety. You know, despite what people think, it’s hard to figure out how
to make nuclear power much safer. I mean, every medical
journal that looks at it — this is the most recent study
from the British journal, “Lancet,” one of the most respected
journals in the world — nuclear is the safest way
to make reliable power. Everybody’s scared of the accidents. So you go look at the accident data — Fukushima, Chernobyl — the World Health Organization
finds the same thing: the vast majority of harm
is caused by people panicking, and they’re panicking
because they’re afraid. In other words, the harm that’s caused
isn’t actually caused by the machines or the radiation. It’s caused by our fears. And what about the waste? Everyone worries about the waste. Well, the interesting
thing about the waste is how little of it there is. This is just from one plant. If you take all the nuclear waste
we’ve ever made in the United States, put it on a football field, stacked it up, it would only reach 20 feet high. And people say it’s poisoning
people or doing something — it’s not, it’s just sitting
there, it’s just being monitored. There’s not very much of it. By contrast, the waste that we don’t
control from energy production — we call it “pollution,” and it kills
seven million people a year, and it’s threatening very serious
levels of global warming. And the truth is that even if we get
good at using that waste as fuel, there’s always going to be
some fuel left over. That means there’s always going to be
people that think it’s a big problem for reasons that maybe don’t have
as much to do with the actual waste as we think. Well, what about the weapons? Maybe the most surprising thing
is that we can’t find any examples of countries that have nuclear power and then, “Oh!” decide to go get a weapon. In fact, it works the opposite. What we find is the only way we know how to get rid large numbers
of nuclear weapons is by using the plutonium in the warheads as fuel in our nuclear power plants. And so, if you are wanting to get
the world rid of nuclear weapons, then we’re going to need
a lot more nuclear power. (Applause) As I was leaving China, the engineer that brought Bill Gates there
kind of pulled me aside, and he said, “You know, Michael,
I appreciate your interest in all the different nuclear
supply technologies, but there’s this more basic issue, which is that there’s just not
enough global demand. I mean, we can crank out
these machines on assembly lines, we do know how to make things cheap, but there’s just not enough
people that want them.” And so, let’s do solar and wind
and efficiency and conservation. Let’s accelerate the advanced
nuclear programs. I think we should triple the amount
of money we’re spending on it. But I just think the most important thing, if we’re going to overcome
the climate crisis, is to keep in mind that the cause
of the clean energy crisis isn’t from within our machines, it’s from within ourselves. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Otis Rodgers



  1. Lucas anderson Posted on August 12, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Go the nuclear…….

  2. Paul Wilson Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Are you a Nut job Nuclear Power safe? Have a word with yourself! Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernoble and Fukishima are just the ones we know about.

  3. CamberwellCarrot Posted on August 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Climate change is complete bullshit, but nuclear makes complete sense for electricity generation, so we can save fossil fuels for uses where it isn't easily replaced.

  4. Payudas Posted on August 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    The Soy Boy has a point

  5. Super Silver Posted on August 12, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    New idea. Astatine reactor. XD

  6. George Shevchuk Posted on August 12, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    Thorium molten salt reactors are what this guy should have been talking about in his presentation.

  7. Father Dougal Posted on August 13, 2019 at 1:03 am

    I have CO2 in my greenhouse. It works fine. It is not a poison.

  8. Brennan Herring Posted on August 13, 2019 at 2:52 am

    I clicked this just to upvote it

  9. Bill Munholand Posted on August 13, 2019 at 2:55 am

    https://youtu.be/YgVyPwhkoJs Watch this video people he contradicts everything about what he says about nuclear waste LOL.

  10. BLACK NAZI Posted on August 13, 2019 at 3:18 am

    We have years of research in nuclear m, why aren't we using it? Oh yeah, we're all just pussified bitches who think nuclear is bad.

  11. Oskar Hylin Posted on August 13, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Swedens power is about 49% nuclear, 49% hydro energy and 2% others.

  12. Billie Tyree Posted on August 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    The big problem with nuclear is Hollywood.

  13. largraf Posted on August 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Should we be afraid of nuclear power stations?……………. Fukushima! ………. The Pacific Ocean is dying. THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS DYING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Mr. No Name Posted on August 13, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Triple the money spent? Weve already spent billions with NO advancement

  15. Augustus Wayne Posted on August 13, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Nuclear and hydroelectric is the way to go !!

  16. RO BOT Posted on August 14, 2019 at 6:53 am


  17. Robert Jensen Posted on August 14, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Nuclear is also the ONLY way we will ever get to Mars.

  18. James Williamson Posted on August 14, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Fucking Ted idiot who are you working for

  19. James Williamson Posted on August 14, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Ted stop selling extinction how much did the nukers give you?

  20. Rabeth Cooper Posted on August 14, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Ah shuddup!

  21. Scott Bott Posted on August 14, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    In summer of 2019, Germany is no longer getting "half its power from solar". That only worked for the first SUMMER MONTHS they tried it. In the winter it didn't work. Energy cost skyrocketed, and the solar company went bankrupt.

  22. nigel morris Posted on August 14, 2019 at 4:09 pm


  23. AZCobraman Posted on August 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Excellent vid.

  24. Jack McCourt Posted on August 14, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Nuclear power plants, contrary to popular belief, emit greenhouse gases – water vapor, unfortunately a greenhouse gas, contributes significantly to global temperatures rising.

  25. flightofthejellyfish Posted on August 15, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Does anyone really believe that if nuclear had fulfilled it's promise of being "too cheap to meter" that any amount of public fear would have stopped it?
    The problem with nuclear isn't fear, it's that it is just too damn expensive to justify the risks. It lost out to coal on economic grounds plain and simple.
    And now solar has got cheaper than coal and the fashionable opinion of internet geniuses is to echo the nuclear industry marketing spiel and call for displacing solar with nuclear even though that solves none of the problems of removing fossil fuels either.

  26. IMAGINE MY FREEDOMS third templers Posted on August 15, 2019 at 3:42 am

    People should just keep building there own liquid batteries and minature nukular thorium reactors for there own homes and neighborhoods without informing any of the greedy selfish pedophile physician patent thefts and hiding of technology like sercos technology thieft rich criminal British german swiss Italian islamic top criminal jew bankers and still the number one enemies to ALL life and any good developments to make this realm better for everything and everybody in this realm because of the greed jews still and should never again be permitted to even look at life in this realm of existence.

  27. ACharmedEarthling Posted on August 15, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Really glad to see this discussed in a TED talk as it's always been something that's bugged me. I live in Australia, which houses a third of the world's uranium deposits, yet doesn't have a single nuclear reactor. It's insane.

    The Eco-warriors driving the anti-nuclear agenda, annoy me as much as the coal lobbyists. They are almost invariably scientifically illiterate and never seem to have any practical ideas around actually solving the world's ecological issues, despite constantly preaching their so called environmentalism. It's pure feelings over facts.

    Renewable energy is great in certain situations, but it's not a practical means for worldwide energy consumption. If cold fusion ever becomes commercially viable, it will have the potential to solve all our energy problems and truly remove our reliance on fossil fuels. However, for this to happen, we need people to embrace science and stop living in fear of nuclear power.

  28. Andras Libal Posted on August 15, 2019 at 5:54 am

    They made it politically unfeasible to build nuclear reactors. The cost is not the cost of building it or the materials or the manpower. The cost is the political cost of the paperwork attached. Once you realize that the green new deal is about making you deprived (or energy, transportation, habitation and food) and utterly dependent on the socialist government, you'll understand.

  29. Defanos Posted on August 15, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Ya know, Nuclear is way too dangerous, either it will blow up, or a natural disaster will make it..blow up, and cause damage that takes hundreds of years to dissipate. oh and make sure you build them right on top of the most unstable plate on the planet. California is so fucked. lul.

  30. Ade2Bee Posted on August 15, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Nuclear is the way forward, most of the lobbyist to keep pushing Fukushima are the same people who have investments in the wind and solar… atomicinsights.com Is a good personal website of an atomic energy & weapon specialist who’s foundation lies with the U.S. Navy

  31. Tim.iteland .944 Posted on August 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

    What a total industry sponsored shill ! Geothermal power stations could easily power the whole world !

  32. Tim.iteland .944 Posted on August 15, 2019 at 11:58 am


  33. Tim.iteland .944 Posted on August 15, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    This guy is an asswipe and puppet ! And I quote In 2017, Shellenberger told The Australian: "Like most people, I started out pretty anti-nuclear. I changed my mind as I realised you can't power a modern economy on solar and wind… All they do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels." .tidal hydro power lakes or geothermal could power the entire world . corporate experts , have sold their spineless souls . I will deal with them later !

  34. Yuliy Valenko Posted on August 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Is it just me, or are his statistics a bit … misleading?

  35. dave miller Posted on August 15, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Nuclear power is NOT CLEAN IN ANY WAY. How do people even get away with saying this. The waste is unbelievably toxic for hundreds or thousands of years. There is no safe place for it. It keeps building up. Look at the nightmare of Fukushima. MANY nuke plants are built on rivers, seashores, or fault lines. You can't promote nuclear power and care for the environment. We haven't even got to the cancer risks of radiation exposure. Workers have to wear monitors and after a certain level of exposure you can't be around it anymore. How is this safe. Why are people falling for this insanity. We need to develop TRULY CLEAN RENEWABLE energy. Solar and wind have problems too, but nothing on the scale of nuclear. Geothermal has promise at least until we can come up with something better than it and solar and wind. Coal is nearly as bad as nuclear. Many health hazzards and not clean. This video misrepresents facts as the truth. Spin doctoring. Nuclear is BIG money. The powers that be want nuclear weapons and you have to have nuclear power plants to produce the fissionable material for the weapons. That is the real drive to keep this nightmare technology. That and the fact that well meaning people like this presenter actually believe the things he is saying. Think people. You are allowed to be critical thinkers.

  36. Der Kleebaum Posted on August 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Nuclear is not "green" energy, look at the waste

  37. rick Fischer Posted on August 15, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Very many people have an irrational fear of nuclear energy. Understandable, in light of the relentless bombardment of extremist propaganda.

  38. Samuel Byron Posted on August 15, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    nuclear is evil

  39. Pinheads Cenobite Posted on August 16, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    This video is just stupid. He is talking just like car dealer. Still I'm very positively surprised that most of people think that nuclear power is not good or save. Most governments together with Russia are stills stupid enough to throw nuclear waste just to rivers and then comes also big danger from nuclear power plant staff. Most of humanity epic projects ends on first try as disaster. So we simply give another try, but you cannot really do this with nuclear power plants. To save money everybody wants to build something on their own and outsource, this creates huge problems everywhere, but it can be fixed most of the time, but not after it explodes and destroy living are for hundreds of years. Let's just think about how we are using nuclear energy? Everybody knows? It is simply stupid steam machine like every other power plant except solar. We use such incredible and complex source of energy to boil water and just create steam to rotate turbines. Such stupid idea. Anything can rotate turbines and everywhere, you do not need nuclear power for it.

  40. skrzek Posted on August 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Nuclear being a clean energy! What! The idiot should take a trip to Chernobyl and Fukushima. After hearing the idea of a nuclear power running on waste that cannot melt I stopped watching. Why Bill Gates didn't go to Fukushima to offer this beautiful technology?

  41. Paul Kent Posted on August 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Unfortunately, the nuclear power industry needs to be destroyed, before it can be rebuilt. Almost all nuclear power is produced by the first type of nuclear reactor that could be operated by the US Navy. These reactors are inefficient, inherently dangerous, and require an entire industry to enrich Uranium. The Uranium industry has to die, before we can have Thorium reactors.

    Then again, we have to get the oil and gas industry to stop funding the anti-nuclear folks.

  42. Styx Posted on August 16, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    0:25 even though Germany gets 50% of the Power from solar panels, they have the Money and Ressourcen to build alot more, but they will not because alot of the coal plant companies are giving the politicians Money to prohibit the Bildung of further solar panels to keep the coal industry running…

  43. Xtroverted Hermit Posted on August 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    How fukishima is hurting the enviroment

  44. Graham Number7 Posted on August 16, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    When every idiot under the sun can drive with the pedal to the metal in Germany (with the mentality that it's allowed as a non German EU citizen) placing their brain in the glove box and a stupid bunch of un elected dickheads in brussels run the show = or contributes to "Bad performance for a graph"
    This also leads to accidents. And a pollution graph. Nuclear is only getting the illusion of being "Cleaner" on the back of CO2 being "Dirty" Germany looks "Dirty" because of a data set we don't see where it's from and used for the purpose of argument. Please provide. CO2 debates further within areas at least not taken over by media and sponsored "science"

    One reason for Brexit and one reason Germany with it's LION's share of "refugees" (help help help the bombs are dropping -but it's ok Mrs and kids come next year "refugees"). The reason Germany can not charge ""foreign people"" for driving on the roads is exactly the reason I am "Discriminated" against when I drive to Croatia and pay in, Austria or I think any other country around Germany!..Fair? NO It's BS
    Nuklear is clean? NOPE it IS NOT it's cleanness is only if you forget what's called a half life or a humans with power (management and Chernobyl and Thyroid cancer AND after effects in later generations I pay, in I think EVERY neighbouring country leaving Germany, I pay! So where Is brussels and those unelected dickheads self serving idiots (made up of failed politicians (you know the "Ban the Burka" that Brussels was complexly ok with – Germany is THAT way on your wish list map)
    The way forwards is patented already. I had the same idea a year ago – I don't care if it works but the earths power and some ideas (I also had) should NOT belong to one person for profit over every other human being for $$$$$$$$$$$$$

  45. scratch Posted on August 17, 2019 at 3:27 am

    For whatever the reason, simbots have a major fetish thingy going on for radiation like pyromaniacs have for fire.

    This universe is a sim. Physicists have already found some of the underlying sim programming code. The proof that this universe is a sim already exists.

    Simbot… simulation-generated biological robot that mindlessly perpetuates the universe sim agenda and status quo. No matter how stupid and wrongful the universe sim agenda and status quo might be.

    Simbot does as simbot is.

  46. My Music Playlist Posted on August 17, 2019 at 7:30 am

    People are afriad of nuclear just because of the word lmfao. People are dumb and will always be

  47. Valerio Guagnelli Scanzani Posted on August 17, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    what a bunch of b…hit, propaganda.
    One of the most mystifying argument is the death toll. This is a real hoax. must be Damages to be accounted for only "dead"? what about land wasted, spoilt, lost? is it a huge damage? what about psychological damages to many people, and what about people injured or those that maybe survive but with illness malformations diseases for ever? what about firms shut down, people displaced?
    Why all of that is not taken into account when evaluating the risk?

  48. agustin venegas Posted on August 17, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    People are shoving this up to different political groups "oh it's the libtards" "oh it's Conservative lobbyists" no, it's everyone, that's the problem, politics agreed that nuclear wasn't safe despite it being safer than most others

  49. James Neale Posted on August 18, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    What climate crisis?

  50. Ashley Henderson Posted on August 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    “You lose 20/40% of the power each time you use a battery”… what is he talking about. Furthermore a lot of his graphs have dates missing I.e. sometimes comparisons up to 2012 and some up to 2015 depending on his point. Really dislike manipulating the data like this.

  51. S K Posted on August 18, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    I'd take another 300 years of coal burning over the Fukushima disaster that caused mass die offs in the Pacific that continue to this day. The radioactive isotopes will still be around wreaking genetic havoc on ocean life and indeed all organisms on the planet for the next 28,000 years. So maybe the average power plant pollutes less but when one goes haywire and does pollute it causes unprecedented destruction. Nothing "clean" about radioactive waste contaminated water pouring into the ocean at 300,000 tons a day for the last 8 years!

    The IAEA wants you to forget that that happened and is still a major issue though. General Electric, who is responsible for this mess also owns many major worldwide media outlets. So I wonder why there's been a serious lack of press coverage on Fukushima the last near-decade? Prepare for a huge rise in thyroid cancer in the next few years, especially on the west coast. Stop eating Pacific seafood especially tuna as they have tested having some of the largest amounts of Isotopes, look into a radiation detox with Zeolite you quite possibly have Iodine-131, Cesium-137, Strontium-90 and/or Plutonium-238 in your body that if ignored for too long will be your demise.

  52. Don B Posted on August 18, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Odd that he doesn't mention the facts that places such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and more recently Fukushima aren't the only spills, just the ones they couldn't sweep under the rug. And the fact that some of these accidents were scientifically categorized as as "extinction level events". Although it may be true that it's safe (as long as everything goes well) but it's also true that all the nuclear waste if stacked 20 feet high would fit on a football field, yet it is also inconveniently true that the containers in which they're held are not Everlasting and we've only been doing this for about 60 years. So what will that pile of waste look like in 50 years or a hundred? What happens if some of those end up in the wrong hands or begin leaking? Who will be able to stop the nuclear waste that is still pouring out into the ocean off Fukushima? No one as yet! In fact the last time I read it was spilling out over 450 tons of contaminated water per day! And they still don't know how to stop it! So excuse me if I don't jump on board with your thesis that everything is dangerous except nuclear energy. In fact, I find your science to be wanting and I would reason that if the death penalty were attached to the scientific screwups caused by the many idiotic scientists that are responsible then maybe safety would be held in a much higher regard.

  53. NMI Posted on August 18, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I'm on the fence about nuclear myself. We slowed down nuclear significantly due to our fears and real dangers it presents. As a result the amount of radioactive waste now is comparably small compared to what our current renewables produce or so what he says. Even with that small amount, its a rather big headache trying to properly seal the waste, and leaks do happen though not often. When it does happen, it is not a simple matter of sweeping it back into another container. I would imagine it to be quite expensive on cleanup.
    If we were to rely on nuclear early on and never thought of other options for energy production, wouldn't that just mean the dangers of nuclear waste be significantly increased since we would have that much more to deal with?

  54. U Wot M8? Posted on August 19, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    So I was right when I was saying "just build nuclear power plants".
    Always got told I was an idiot by environmentalists…

  55. Anthony Norman Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    This is well known and has been so for a while now. I do not know why the majority of the worlds population do not like nuclear power?
    More nuclear power to all and everyone.

  56. Norwegian Smores Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    we have enough nuclear waste material that can be purified by dissolving the uranium and making clean new rods using cathode and anodes. doing this would unlock enough nuclear energy to keep us running for over 1000 years.

  57. benjamin mcmichael Posted on August 20, 2019 at 4:51 am

    funny story, conservatives have been pushing for more nuclear power for decades. Was the hippy dippy liberals who screamed about it for decades that caused this. Remember all those documentaries when you were a kid about how storing nuclear waste would take hundreds of years for it to stop being radioactive, and how nuclear power was gonna poison the earth. I'm not even a climate supporter, just pointing out the irony.

  58. me notyu Posted on August 20, 2019 at 10:51 am

    its amazing how difficult to explain the infinitesimal risk from nuclear vs other methods even to engineers who should be able to understand the vast difference between a nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor.
    Or that Fukashima has yielded only 1 death and 37 total injuries from the incident itself and that ALL other deaths were dew to fear and panic. WHO estimates that those who were under the age of 1 who where within 2 miles of the site could experience a 1% increased chance of developing some form of cancer in their life times and all other age group no increased risk…..far less than the risk of living in the vicinity of a smoker, which is extremely common in japan with over a quarter of the adult population being smokers.
    All of this paies in comparison to the dangers from carbon emissions and even more immediately tangible issues of particulate matter in the air from oil and coal.
    He is correct. people are scared of the wrong things….probably because we watch the sensationalist news and watch too many movies that have us scared of all the wrong things.

  59. SKINTOXIC Posted on August 21, 2019 at 12:15 am

    the problem is media they are the ones that spread misinformation

  60. Jake Shumway Posted on August 21, 2019 at 2:32 am

    One thing for sure is coal has to go

  61. TheÜberLord Posted on August 21, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Only problem is that we have from 80-200 years of nuclear resources left. If we add more clients of this energy choice, that material lifespan will decrease even more. We need to find a source of energy that can last for a much greater period of time.

  62. Gry Phyn Posted on August 21, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Chernobyl, Fukishima, yeah I'm kinda thinking the fears are justified.

  63. rick ricky Posted on August 21, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    go tell fukushima just how safe it is

  64. BusyBasaz Posted on August 21, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Last time I read about thorium reactors, they seem to be poppycock and false promises. Nuclear is time tested and works. Build new nuclear plants, safer and more efficient. Forget about the thorium pipedream. Start working towards fusion, that is the next step.

  65. The Spectosphere Posted on August 22, 2019 at 1:21 am

    This is fundamentally why I don’t believe the climate change fear mongers. If we were serious we’d do nuclear.

  66. False Progress Posted on August 22, 2019 at 3:16 am

    It's good that this guy is debunking the efficacy of ugly wind power, but some of his views on the environment are disturbing. How can anyone claim that the human footprint problem is merely a lack of nuclear power? See: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/07/29/why-earth-overshoot-day-and-the-ecological-footprint-are-pseudoscientific-nonsense/

  67. Braveaux ol' chap Posted on August 22, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Don't let facts and crap get in the way!…its about FEELINGS, BRO!

  68. TheJustina102085 Posted on August 22, 2019 at 10:21 am

    I’m surprised Ted allowed honest energy/environmental talk…

  69. Ann Hiro Posted on August 22, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    so we looked at the data

  70. John Smith Posted on August 23, 2019 at 5:07 am


  71. John Smith Posted on August 23, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Global warming alert

  72. John Smith Posted on August 23, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Making billions from climate dependent commodities, investment bankers spend millions on climate scientists. Why do all the older textbooks on climate show a big bulge on the graphs in the 1930's and 1940's? Why was the cooling trend changed to a warming trend at the same time as the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2000? Why is it not surprising to see the nuclear industry talking about clean safe nuclear as a solution to the fabricated climate crisis? How many billions or trillions did investment bankers lose when the nuclear industry collapsed after the accident at Three Mile Island?

  73. John Smith Posted on August 23, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Even as nuclear expert President Jimmy Carter was touring the facility at Three Mile Island where 60 tons of uranium melted and poured out onto the floor of the reactor building, the scientists were standing around arguing about if and when the reactor building was going to explode all over the countryside. Even to this day the government insists there was no danger to the public. But carbon dioxide is dangerous.

  74. John Smith Posted on August 23, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I heard California had a magnutude 5 earthquake today where Google keeps deleting my posts. Maybe their reactors can withstand a magnutude 9 earthquake and maybe not. Magnitude 4.5 or greater earthquakes show up as red dots on the MyRadar globe. It's interesting that there wasn't a single red dot in Calufornia all year until the special celebrations in June when the red dots started appearing by the dozens.

  75. Joe Duke Posted on August 23, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Nuclear power is a work of the magic. All of you should send your daughters to the practitioners of the nuclear arcane knowledge… now!

  76. still34u Posted on August 24, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I honestly have to wonder – why do they care? I mean, nobody asked me what kind of power plant I want in my county… Just build the damn thing somewhere people can't see it, so they wouldn't fear it. I hear what you're saying, but I think you're missing a point. We don't build more nuclear power plants because owners of coal mines and oil rigs are against it. What does the regular Joe have to do with that? Nothing

  77. Iftekhar Sarkar Posted on August 24, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    We are building our first nuclear power plant with the help of Russia.
    France showed her interest to build our 2nd nuclear power plant.

  78. mwhathaway Posted on August 25, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    So let me get this straight. Refining radioactive elements that produce heat to boil water that turns a turbine to generate electricity, then have to deal with a highly toxic waste that cannot be exposed to the environment for thousands of years is good for the environment? And some how this is considered advanced, clean technology. It's not fear that has inhibited the adoption of nuclear energy, it's the sheer lack of practicality and its short sighted proponents. To say nuclear is the safest way to make reliable power ignores the insane costs of keeping it safe and the long term risks of dealing with the toxic waste it produces. Back to the drawing board homeboy!

  79. Aidan Hartford Posted on August 25, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Global warming is a better alternative than multiple nuclear meltdowns…..too many pro nuclear people

  80. pablo rages Posted on August 26, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Propaganda … nuclear has the WORST type of waste … thank god nuclear is declining

  81. pablo rages Posted on August 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    and nuclear plant create 2000% more nuclear waste than coal fired plants … I'd rather have CO2 waste than Nuclear Waste any day ! … we know how to deal with CO2 ….we still have NO CLUE how to deal with nuclear waste

  82. Jordan Kelly Posted on August 27, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Chernobyl. Not interested. There’s better ways. That’s all I’m gonna say.

  83. Theseustoo Astyages Posted on August 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Three-Mile Island

    Just THREE examples, off the top of my head, of how REAL nuclear power stations REALLY ARE hurting the environment.

    There's a BLOODY GOOD REASON for 'fear of nuclear energy'!

    (And I haven't even mentioned the problem of toxic nuclear waste disposal!)

  84. Gnome Add Posted on September 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Dude is probably one of those Lizard people that wants to eat my eyeballs.
    Yours too.
    Gotta be a Muslim.

    Me – fossil fuel shill

  85. Michael Snelling Posted on September 3, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Small scale Thorium Salt reactors is the way tog. Manufactured in a factory reduces cost. UK should have one in every county scaled to size. Reliance on large conventional nuclear built by China or France not safe or wise.

  86. Simon Cameron Posted on September 4, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    I really wish people would think about it for a second, the same people pushing against Nuclear are the ones who claim to have science on their side…. It is a good option

  87. Coach Hannah Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Same old sales pitch.

  88. HabibuHalama Posted on September 6, 2019 at 2:12 am

    When sun is not shining and wind is not blowing, your accumulators STILL accumulate the energy. Never heard of batteries?

  89. Nate Burnside Posted on September 6, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Just keep it within at least 10 miles away from me and I’ll be fine with it

  90. Joe H.S Posted on September 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Liberals want clean energy, but they also want to get rid of nuclear, I don’t understand

  91. Gurvinder Parmar Posted on September 7, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Nuclear energy is the answer…

  92. John McCafferty Posted on September 9, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    This industry is responsible for millions of cancers and illnesses. You cannot possibly think humans are capable of running this tech without catastrophe. Fukushima was to be expected. It was a nuclear explosion in unit 3 that sent fuel km into the air. Soon there will be disaster in the USA from licencing these plants 40 years past design basis.

  93. cheetor5923 Posted on September 10, 2019 at 10:05 am

    What I find quite funny is I've found at my workplace (A prominent worldwide motor control company) is this…. If I walk in to the break room and say "Nuclear power is our salvation" I get pretty much heckled by production line workers…. If I walk into the engineering office (full of knowledgeable engineers) Everyone nods and agrees. This is why Nuclear power fails/ In a democracy the ignorance of the masses overrides the knowledge of the experts. Fact is simple.. Democracy allows the idiots to reign over the Intelligent.

  94. Bob Xx Posted on September 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    So tell me how is JAPAN doing right now? 80+ years latter and still no realy way to recycle spent rods. 3 mile island. Chernobyl or did you forget about that little 30 year old leaking problem. And still no real idea what to do what the elephant foot once they can get remote controlled robots to get to it. So tell me again just how clean necular power is?

  95. andrew wolverton Posted on September 10, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Nit Picking, I know, but when people who sound otherwise smart use upspeak, I just cringe harder than when dopey teenagers do.

  96. J Allen Posted on September 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    If you shutdown a plant early you still have the waste but not the value and the waste emitts more radiation because it's not fully spent.