quotations about nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is incomparably greater than the molecular energy which we use today.... What is lacking is the match to set the bonfire alight.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Thoughts and Adventures


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Oh, meltdown. It's one of these annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus.

MR. BURNS, "Homer Defined", The Simpsons


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All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.

RONALD REAGAN, Burlington Free Press, February 15, 1980


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For 50 years, nuclear power stations have produced three products which only a lunatic could want: bomb-explosive plutonium, lethal radioactive waste and electricity so dear it has to be heavily subsidised. They leave to future generations the task, and most of the cost, of making safe sites that have been polluted half-way to eternity.

JAMES BUCHAN, attributed, Science, Risk, and Policy


Every dollar spent on nuclear is one less dollar spent on clean renewable energy and one more dollar spent on making the world a comparatively dirtier and a more dangerous place, because nuclear power and nuclear weapons go hand in hand.

MARK Z. JACOBSON, "Nuclear Power Is Too Risky", CNN, February 22, 2010


The release of nuclear energy is an event comparable to the first fire kindled by prehistoric man -- though there is no modern Prometheus but teams of clever yet less heroic fellows, useless as inspiration for epic poetry.

MAX BORN, postscript, The Restless Universe


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I dispute the point that nuclear energy is 'clean' and 'cost-effective'. As I recall, when we first harnessed nuclear power it was to drop an atom bomb on a civilian population, not to save the environment. However, you must admit, the victors are never tried for war crimes.

E. A. BUCCHIANERI, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly


Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water.



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We should also challenge this country to come up with strategies and technologies that allow us to produce nuclear energy without necessarily producing a byproduct that can be converted to something far more dangerous. I believe that can be done. It may not be done tomorrow, but it clearly needs to be worked on.

TOM VILSACK, speech, October 12, 2006


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Nuclear energy and foreign policy cannot coexist on the planet. The more deep the secret, the greater the determination of every nation to discover and exploit it. Nuclear energy insists on global government, on law, on order, and on the willingness of the community to take the responsibility for the acts of the individual.

E. B. WHITE, The Wild Flag, August 19, 1945


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The history of nuclear energy is filled with too many cases of human failure, and of human and environmental harm, to sustain such uncritical trust in expertise or faith in cornucopian progress.

JAMES W. FELDMAN, foreword, Nuclear Reactions: Documenting American Encounters with Nuclear Energy


And lord, we're especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest safest energy source there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream.

HOMER SIMPSON, "Bart Vs. Thanksgiving", The Simpsons


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Nuclear energy is by no means finished; it remains one of the great hopes of mankind, and in due course it will play a major role, perhaps the decisive role in providing the energy that the world needs so badly. But that goal will not be reached on the road that we are now traveling. We need to back away from our present nuclear state in order to find a better way, a route less hazardous to human health and to the peace of the world and its very survival.

DAVID LILIENTHAL, Atomic Energy: A New Start


Nuclear energy is at a crossroads. While some concerned about climate change urge a rapid expansion of nuclear power to facilitate a shift away from fossil fuels ... others argue for a decisive rejection of nuclear energy, especially in the wake of Fukushima and ongoing difficulties with the storage of long-lived nuclear waste (e.g. Yucca Mountain). Interestingly, much of the argument on both sides is overtly ethical, highlighting objections to the most vulnerable and to future generations.

STEPHEN M. GARDINER, "The need for public 'explosion' in the ethics of radiological protection, especially for nuclear power", The Ethics of Nuclear Energy


Sleeping next to a woman presents a greater radioactive risk than camping beside a nuclear power station.

PILE BOTHA, attributed, The Book of Contemporary Quotes


If nuclear power plants are safe, let the commercial insurance industry insure them. Until these most expert judges of risk are willing to gamble with their money, I'm not willing to gamble with the health and safety of my family.

DONNA REED, attributed, In Stitches: a patchwork of feminist humor and satire


Briefly put, my claim is that nuclear energy is still in several, although not all, respects an experimental technology and, so I will argue, recognizing the experimental nature would improve the moral debate about the desirability of nuclear energy. It would, in particular, allow us to better take into account and deal with the uncertainties, and sometimes even ignorance, that surrounds at least some aspects of nuclear energy.

IBO VAN DE POEL, "Morally experimenting with nuclear energy", The Ethics of Nuclear Energy


Nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn't get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can't drive. A pilot without a plan can't fly.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, address to a joint meeting of the United States Congress, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015


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I'm not counting on God; I put my faith in nuclear energy.



Fission is a process of deadly fascination; had nature chosen her constants just a little differently, we should have been deprived of its potential for social good and spared its power for social evil. Despite the former and despite the undeniable fact that the latter is responsible for nuclear and particle physics being decades in advance of what would otherwise have been their time, I know what my own choice for the constants would have been.

DENYS WILKINSON, Comments on Nuclear and Particle Physics, 1968