Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Oxford University, UK: Nuclear energy can affect life when a nucleus decays, releasing energy as radiation. Everything, even our own bodiees, contains some natural radioactivity, and nuclear radiation shines on us from space too. If it had been really dangerous, life would have died out aeons ago, when radiation flux was more intense than it is today. To survive the oxidative damage caused by radiation and oxygen, life has evolved a series of amazingly clever design features and strategies.
Robert Hargraves, Physicist. Nuclear power is a green environmental solution. The fuel is cheap and inexhaustible. Green nuclear power can solve the global crises of air pollution deaths and climate change. Cheap energy can help developing nations escape poverty and let industrialized nations improve economic growth. Is nuclear power safe? Yes, the primary obstacle to nuclear power is misunderstanding of radiation health effects.
James Conca, Geochemist: New reactor designs are pretty advanced and ready to be rolled out. Whether they’re variations on the traditional light-water reactor (NuScale), new molten salt designs (IMSR), air-cooled, liquid metal, or advanced fast-reactors that burn everything from spent fuel from old reactors to Iraqi tank armor (TerraPower; General Atomics), SMRs like the Xe-100 build on the successful experience of previous designs and the redundant safety systems developed over the last 60 years.
Dax Contreras, digital Director, Editor and contributor for The New Mexico Politico. Safe, reliable, and affordable power is a crucial part of a strong and growing economy. The dependability and general affordability of electricity here in U.S. is a significant component of our historically robust economy. But recently, a vocal and active few here in New Mexico are part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to severely restrict our ability to produce economical and reliable power.