For too long, many environmentalists have been ambivalent about nuclear energy. It conjures fears: meltdowns, cancers; Chernobyl, Fukushima; overtones of nuclear bombs.

Yet we also know that nuclear power provides 70 percent of all the greenhouse gas-free electrical power in the United States. Hydropower, in which dams block many great rivers like the Susquehanna to fish migration, provides much of the rest. Neither does nuclear energy produce the nitrogen oxides of fossil fuels that are a major Chesapeake Bay pollutant, or the mercury from coal plants that contaminate so much of our seafood.


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