Shutting down nuclear power plants is ‘senseless’, ‘anti-human’
- Elon Musk called some environmentalists “anti-human” for shutting down nuclear power plants.
- Musk has been a strong proponent of nuclear as a vital energy source in the transition to net zero.
- Nuclear power is back in the spotlight as energy insecurity grows after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Elon Musk has called some environmentalists “anti-human” for advocating the closure of nuclear power plants, after saying such moves were “senseless” for national security.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tweeted Friday on nuclear energy.
“Countries should increase nuclear power production! It’s senseless from a national security perspective and bad for the environment to shut them down,” Musk wrote.
Twitter user Scott Morefield replied, “Nuclear is clean, efficient and could replace fossil fuels entirely if adopted. It’s not because so-called environmentalists are not supportive. to clean energy, they are anti-human.”
In response, Musk tweeted, “Some are indeed sadly anti-human.”
Nuclear power is an unpopular renewable energy source given concerns about its safety, linked to high-profile disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
A report to the US Congress last year showed the country had permanently shut down 12 nuclear reactors since 2012. IAEA data suggests 203 reactors have been shut down, representing 98,000 megawatts.
But in addition to warning of population collapse, which he said this week is a greater threat to humanity than global warming, Musk has been a strong supporter of nuclear power as a renewable energy source, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused oil and gas prices to skyrocket.
In a March interview with Insider, Musk said, “I want to be very clear. You shouldn’t just not shut down nuclear plants, but you should also reopen the ones that have already shut down. These are the fastest to produce energy. . It’s crazy to shut down nuclear plants now, especially if you’re in a place where there are no natural disasters.”
He added: “If you are somewhere where severe earthquakes or tsunamis occur, that is more of a question mark. If there is no risk of a massive natural disaster, which Germany does not have, then there really is no danger with nuclear power plants. “
In that interview, Musk added that nuclear power was vital until other sources like solar became more reliable, and that shutting down plants was “utter madness.”