Peter Stoler: Pulling the Nuclear Plug Reading Summary

In this Time Magazine article from 1984, author Peter Stoler discuses the state of the nuclear power industry during the 1980’s. He also explains what the viewpoint of engineers and scientists were following the end of World War II and looking towards harnessing nuclear energy for electrical power. Even though atomic energy was first put to use for mass destruction, many people sought to utilize it for electrical energy during peacetime starting in the 1950’s and technically lasting through the 21st century. At the start, people believed that nuclear energy would become such a widespread source of energy, that electricity prices would become much cheaper for consumers. Unfortunately though, the nuclear power industry has gone through multiple rough patches since its early days of implementation, some of which include isolated and sometimes widespread accidents that have occurred in various countries.

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It is very interesting though how throughout the history of nuclear power, some people thought it would not last while others continue to champion its triumph in terms of being a source of constant energy. Stoler discussed in his article how the nuclear power industry had been struggling during the 1970’s and 80’s but he along with many others knew that it would only grow stronger through the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Surprisingly enough, the public in many countries around the world, despite some of the risks, have accepted nuclear energy as a major source of power alongside natural gas, coal, and types of clean, renewable, energy. Even though nuclear power does pose a semi-significant health threat, local and even nationwide governments still cannot deny the benefits of having nuclear power plants nearby that provide constant, unaltered electricity. I am very keen to observe how people treat nuclear energy in the next couple decades, especially considering how some plants are being shut down in the United States while certain countries in Europe still have plans to put more into place.

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If you would like to dive more into what makes nuclear power unique or how widespread its use is around the world, please check the following links.

Word Count: 348

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