According to Bill Gates nuclear power is ‘safer’ than oil and coal

Nuclear power’s bad press is because it has led to radioactive disasters in the past, the repercussions of which are still felt today
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In an ongoing effort to fight climate change, billionaire Bill Gates told CNBC that nuclear power is ‘safer’ than any other source of power generation, including oil and coal, and may be a solution to preventing a climate disaster.

The software developer told CNBC that nuclear power will “absolutely” be politically acceptable, even though it has always carried a bad reputation.

Nuclear power has been associated with the atomic bomb and various radioactive disasters, including the Chernobyl accident of 1986 at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine. However, Gates is convinced that nuclear power can solve climate problems and overcome its bad reputation.

“Nuclear has actually been safer than any other source of [power] generation,” Gates told CNBC. He added that it is a challenge that must be conquered in order to achieve clean energy solutions.

Gates is most commonly known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. While he does not have a formal background in anything power-related, Gates is an investor and the founder of a nuclear power company called TerraPower which re-designed a nuclear reactor.

He told CNBC that new innovations in nuclear technology make it a more affordable and safer source of energy. “There’s a new generation [of nuclear power] that solves the economics, which has been the big, big problem,” he said.

“I hope people will be open-minded to see how incredibly safe the next generation will be,” he added.

According to Gates, nuclear power plants can produce cleaner energy since it produces no greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Coal plants, coal particulate, natural gas pipelines [are] blowing up. The deaths per unit of power on these other approaches are — are far higher,” Gates stated. 

The graph below depicts the death rates from energy production per unit of energy generation. It shows nuclear in the middle of the graph with one of the lowest numbers.

(Courtesy of Our World in Data)

While the subject remains controversial, the use of nuclear energy may become more common in parts of the world. In fact, President Joe Biden’s campaign pledges to address climate change with the use of nuclear energy innovation. 

Biden’s climate change campaign includes “advanced nuclear reactors” to achieve a 100% clean energy target.

Canada is also known to use nuclear power generation as a “source of energy that does not emit greenhouse gases.”

Wiki Production Code: A0673

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