Why Nuclear Power Is So Controversial In The United States

The United States has the largest nuclear power generation capacity in the world, but as a percentage of total energy production, it ranks a mere 16th. At least part of the reason is that people fear nuclear energy, whether rationally or not.

The New York Times' video channel has a nice short documentary on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident, a near-disaster that effectively halted nuclear power development in the United States for a generation. Besides recounting the events of that fateful day, the doc concisely traces the debate over nuclear power since then. Despite the recent Fukushima disaster, there remains a push for nuclear energy because it's the best alternative to greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels. Tough choices, and a complicated history we should all be familiar with.

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