On Wednesday, September 14th, a group of CFACT members from the University of Minnesota chapter attended a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant in central Minnesota. The CFACT members learned just how vital nuclear power is to our ever increasing clean energy demands. Nuclear power produces absolutely no greenhouse emissions to produce power, and all of the water and equipment that touches, or at any point has touched, any radioactive material is either completely contained within many thick layers of steel and concrete and if it contains only a possibility of radiation contamination, is safely ventilated to prevent worker or civilian exposure to any unnecessary radiation. They learned that for every possible issue or complication, there are at least three fail-safe operations or devices that will prevent any meltdown or external contamination.
The take away for the CFACT students was that for anyone who wants to see more “alternative energy” (i.e., solar, wind, etc…) nuclear is the way to go. It can actually match demands especially if the government got out of the way and allowed more nuclear plants to be built. The inconvenient truth being that technology will have to greatly improve before nuclear power becomes less efficient and less cost effective than the other alternatives in terms of power output.