using chernobyl and fukushima, 2 isolated accidents that were actually very preventable, only proves that you have no idea what you’re talking about concerning both accidents, how they began, or nuclear power itself. yes, nuclear power has several inherent risks, but so does every other method of producing electricity. in fact, in 1954 the yangtze river in china flooded enough that the three gorges dam couldn’t divert most of the water and ended up killing 33,000 people and forced another 18 million to relocate. did this lead to a global outcry to end hydroelectric power generation? no.
the accident at chernobyl was caused by a series of errors made by reactor operators and was intensified by an unusual reactor design, not the unpredictable nature of nuclear fission (which, as it turns out, is very predictable). operators didn’t inform personnel in charge of reactor safety of a test they were going to perform during a routine maintenance shutdown to see if, should the plant lose power, the slowing turbine could generate enough power to keep coolant circulating systems active until backup emergency diesel generators kicked on and absorbed the rest of the load. by not coordinating the test with the reactor safety crew, the operators weren’t aware of how unstable RBMK reactors are when operating at low power. operators also shut off emergency core cooling systems and while this had little effect in the accident, it showed how lax safety procedures were and how incompetent the operators were. to carry out the test safely, the reactor needed to be stabilized at no less than 700 MWt but at some point the output dropped to ~30 MWt. operators then stabilized the reactor at 200 MWt and carried out the test. without going into extreme detail, a massive power surge caused fuel elements to rupture and increased steam production, leading to a further increase of power, pressure inside the reactor rose dramatically and jammed control rods in the core, a massive steam explosion occurred, followed by another explosion that blew the lid off the reactor, ignited several fires, and a graphite fire in the core burned for around 10 days and spewed catastrophic amounts of radioactive material into the environment. RBMK reactors had no external containment structures until after reactor 4’s explosion, so when the lid blew off, there was nothing in place to stop or minimize radioactive release.
the fact that so many people were seriously affected by radiation can be contributed to the fact that the soviet government refused to notify even its own citizens very close to the plant of what had happened and the severity of the situation. they weren’t instructed to evacuate the area until after the graphite fire had been burning for 2-3 days. in fact, it was apparent that the soviet government intended to keep the accident a secret but were forced to confirm it when reports of increased radioactivity surfaced as far as sweden.
fukushima is much different from chernobyl in that a natural disaster acted as the catalyst of the meltdowns that occurred there. the problem with fukushima is that the plant was knowingly built on an area of high seismic activity, and the ocean was practically the back yard of the plant. although a natural disaster affected the plant, much of the accident was man-made, caused by a series of errors, willful negligence concerning the plant’s capacity to withstand natural disasters (the plant’s safety features weren’t designed to withstand the worst case natural disaster scenario), and deficiencies regarding intervention and response to the accident by TEPCO, nuclear regulators and the japanese government. regardless, no official reports of health issues due to radiation release have been made because efforts to evacuate the exclusion zones were surprisingly efficient.
nuclear power is not an uncontrollable and unpredictable force, despite public perception. nuclear power doesn’t spontaneously combust on its own. certain conditions have to be met for an accident to occur and most of the time, the systems for controlling and cooling the reactors are functioning exactly as they should be, but normal and safe operating conditions typically don’t make headlines. most people don’t understand that strict safety procedures and regulations keep reactors running smoothly and redundant external power systems and cooling/emergency cooling systems prevent damage. radioactive release is heavily controlled by several layers of containment structures. constant and obsessive monitoring of reactors makes even the smallest operating irregularity very apparent. besides, electricity generation and capacity of other alternative energy sources pale in comparison to that of nuclear power plants right now.
the only real issue i personally have with nuclear power is waste management, but coal-fired power plants release ~100 times more radioactivity than nuclear power plants, oddly enough. also, nuclear power reactors serve plenty of purposes and aren’t used solely for electricity generation. nuclear marine propulsion is used on many military ships, as well as civilian ships like icebreakers. plenty of research is being conducted on using heat produced by nuclear fission to produce hydrogen and to potentially be used for desalination, as well as understanding and producing the process of nuclear fusion. radioisotopes are used in hospitals globally along with radiotherapy. plenty of reasons for nuclear applications exist and oddly enough it’s not just for electricity production. i do really hope nuclear opposers never have to get an x-ray or endure radiotherapy though because obviously there are zero practical uses for anything nuclear and doing so would negate their entire anti-nuclear agenda and you can’t have any of that!