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Nuclear energy is deeply irresponsible. It requires maintenance of reactors to prevent significant environmental contamination. On a long enough timescale, it is impossible to guarantee continuous maintenance. At some point in the next millennium there will be a technological downturn, leading to thousands of unmaintained reactors dotting the landscape, leaking highly radioactive materials. Hard to imagine human civilization recovering in such an environment.

Actually it doesn't. There is no reason we could be burning todays "waste" in Thorium or other reactors. Reactor designs that also coast to a stop if their systems are interrupted vs. melting down like many of the current high pressure designs in use. There are many ways to produce nuclear power and there are plenty of designs that are far more efficient and safe than the currently widely used designs. Indeed China doesn't have to deal as much with irrational hype and is set to pass the rest of the western world: https://neutronbytes.com/2018/01/07/recent-developments-in-a...

It's a combination of politics and hysteria that has painted nuclear into a corner, not science or reason.

The Japanese have been researching micro-reactors for a long time - hopefully they can make it work. I'd love to have a refrigerator sized thing in my basement that makes my power and removes my dependency on the grid.

Nuclear reactors contain highly toxic materials. No matter how smart designs they use, they'll decay and leak if left unattended for a long enough period. We have huge spent radioactive material storage problems right now. Just imagine if every Dick and Mary had a reactor in their basement. If only 1% of these reactors go under maintained, we have a serious problem on our hands. That before considering a major civilization blip like a communist revolution or a world war.

As of China, they are the dirtiest civilization in human history. Not an example to emulate if we are to leave our children and grand-children a livable Earth.

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