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PhD historian breaks down how anti-nuclear movement drastically impacted global energy sector: 'Nuclear energy is the most misunderstood'

"We're just scared if it goes wrong or what to do with the waste."

"We're just scared if it goes wrong or what to do with the waste."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A PhD historian has explained how the anti-nuclear movement set back the global green energy sector and how things could have been different if more countries had pursued nuclear energy. 

Matzko Minute's (@pmatzko) video about nuclear energy has almost 600 comments on TikTok because of the ongoing debate about the benefits of nuclear energy. 

@pmatzko How the anti-nuclear stance of the environmental kovement ended up damaging the environment. #nuclearenegy #nuclearenergyisthefuture #environmentalism #greenenergy #nuclearpower #nuclearpowerplant #france🇫🇷 #francenuclear #greenparty #antinuclear #climatechange #globalwarming #globalwarmingawareness #fossilfuels #effectiveenvironmentalism ♬ original sound - Matzko Minute

Matzko used charts to explain how nuclear energy could have prevented the rise in polluting gases. He compared the polluting-gas output of France with the rest of the EU. The chart shows they released about the same gases until the 1980s when France's pollution started lowering. 

He fervently said: "For the last four decades, the French have emitted a quarter less carbon per person than the rest of Europe."

France kept building nuclear power plants, but the rest of Europe stopped in the late 1970s and '80s. 

Matzko's chart shows the vast difference in nuclear power plants in France compared to the U.K. 

Other countries in Europe stopped building nuclear power plants because the anti-nuclear movement at the time "failed to distinguish between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy," Matzko said. 

The anti-nuclear movement took longer to take off in France, so the country had another decade and a half to continue building the plants. 

His last chart outlined warming predictions and said that if the anti-nuclear movement didn't take off, the "radically" optimistic scenario would be today's baseline scenario. 

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear energy is released from the core of atoms, which comprises neutrons and protons. The nuclear energy that produces power globally is through nuclear fission, "when nuclei of atoms split into several parts." Fusion is another way to produce nuclear energy, "when nuclei fuse together." However, this method is still in the research and development phase. 

While people are still debating the benefits of nuclear energy, two companies in Canada — Prodigy Clean Energy and Des Nëdhé Group — have partnered to create "transportable nuclear power plants" to power remote communities. 

The goal is to replace diesel. These plants could also eliminate polluting gases while powering hard-to-reach areas. 

Many comments were all for nuclear energy and had ideas about why some people are against it. 

One commenter said: "Nuclear energy is the most misunderstood thing ever." 

Another TikToker said: "The Simpsons definitely ruined people's perception of nuclear safety."

Another person commented: "It is the best way to get energy, but we're just scared if it goes wrong or what to do with the waste."

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