In the 1970s and 80s, more than a hundred nuclear reactors were built in the United States. 他们许诺丰富, 安全, “清洁”能源, 没有与煤和其他化石燃料相关的污染.
Today, most of those reactors remain in operation, in varying states of condition. Many operate on very thin margins as they compete with cheaper electricity from natural gas and renewable energy. 一些人经历了代价高昂的安全和年龄相关问题. 所有这些国家都面临着核废料方面悬而未决的问题.
But the low-carbon electricity provided by existing nuclear power plants is increasingly valuable in the fight against climate change. Understanding these dynamics—and weighing the benefits of nuclear power against its shortcomings and risks—is essential as we make decisions about the future of US electricity.
帮助防止617888九五至尊娱乐变化的最坏后果, the United States must achieve economy-wide net-zero emissions by or before mid-century. 这就要求电力行业迅速脱碳, 是美国最大的碳排放源之一.
但深度脱碳并不容易. 需要做出艰难的决定，是否老化, unprofitable nuclear reactors should be kept online or replaced—and what should replace them.
面对这些问题的政策制定者应该考虑617888九五至尊娱乐影响, 成本, 安全, 以及对公共健康的影响. They should also strengthen policies that support other low-carbon technologies.
The Fukushima disaster of 2011 showed what can happen when a nuclear power plant's 安全 systems fail. 美国S nuclear industry responded with familiar reassurances that it can't happen here.
我们更清楚. 执行消防和地震法规, 应对洪水风险, and 安全r on-site storage for nuclear waste are just a few of the ways we can help prevent nuclear accidents.
Since its founding in 1969, UCS has served as a nuclear 安全 watchdog. We help ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission enforces its 安全 regulations—and we try to prevent them from reducing 安全 standards and oversight in response to industry pressure.
We believe that a well-regulated nuclear industry is in everyone’s best interest—especially the industry itself.
事故并不是核设施面临的唯一潜在威胁. 一次成功的恐怖袭击可能会造成死亡, 患病, or displace large numbers of people and cause extensive long-term environmental contamination. Protecting nuclear reactors and 安全guarding nuclear material should be a central concern for everyone interested in nuclear power.
不幸的是, 美国核管理委员会经常淡化核恐怖主义的威胁, relaxing its requirements for security exercises in response to industry pressure to lower 成本.
The basic principle behind a nuclear reactor is simple: the heat produced by a controlled nuclear reaction is used to create steam pressure that drives a power-generating turbine. But the technology required to implement this principle efficiently and 安全ly is enormously complex. The fission chain reaction must be maintained at the correct rate and quickly adjusted or stopped when necessary.
世界上几乎所有的反应堆都是用水冷却的, 它们的水温和水压必须小心控制. 和复杂的, redundant cooling systems are needed to prevent nuclear fuel from overheating, 哪一种会导致熔毁和放射性物质的释放.
Nuclear reactors can be cooled by materials other than water; several such types are under development by governments and industry. These have different 安全 vulnerabilities and systems to prevent the release of radioactivity in an accident.