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Great Quotes


This section is offered as a resource for those working on publications, presentations and other activities that would be well punctuated with a great quote. Over time this page will fill with gems found by the NIRS staff -- and from site visitors as well. The intention is that you use them! Thanks.

Send us your great quotes from the Nuclear Age. Please include full attribution and source.


Many believe that a responsible approach to sharply reducing global warming pollution would involve a significant increase in the use of nuclear power plants as a substitute for coal-fired generators. While I am not opposed to nuclear power and expect to see some modest increased use of nuclear reactors, I doubt that they will play a significant role in most countries as a new source of electricity. The main reason for my skepticism about nuclear power playing a much larger role in the world's energy future is not the problem of waste disposal or the danger of reactor operator error, or the vulnerability to terrorist attack. Let's assume for the moment that all three of these problems can be solved. That still leaves two serious issues that are more difficult constraints. The first is economics; the current generation of reactors is expensive, take a long time to build, and only come in one size - extra large. In a time of great uncertainty over energy prices, utilities must count on great uncertainty in electricity demand - and that uncertainty causes them to strongly prefer smaller incremental additions to their generating capacity that are each less expensive and quicker to build than are large 1000 megawatt light water reactors. Newer, more scalable and affordable reactor designs may eventually become available, but not soon. Secondly, if the world as a whole chose nuclear power as the option of choice to replace coal-fired generating plants, we would face a dramatic increase in the likelihood of nuclear weapons proliferation. During my 8 years in the White House, every nuclear weapons proliferation issue we dealt with was connected to a nuclear reactor program. Today, the dangerous weapons programs in both Iran and North Korea are linked to their civilian reactor programs. Moreover, proposals to separate the ownership of reactors from the ownership of the fuel supply process have met with stiff resistance from developing countries who want reactors. As a result of all these problems, I believe that nuclear reactors will only play a limited role.

Al Gore
September 19, 2006


“It should be appreciated that since both h-3 (tritium)  and c14 (carbon 14) deposit in the gonads and the DNA and RNA they are a genetic risk to children yet to be born a thousand years from now.”

Dr Karl Z Morgan
From attachment 7 to his written comments to DOE
FEIS on the continued operation of K L and E reactors
SRS Aiken, SC vol 2  Dec 1990, USDOE


"You can guarantee that mining uranium will lead to nuclear waste. You can't guarantee that uranium mining will not lead to nuclear weapons."

Anthony Albanese,
Australian Labor Party's environmental spokesman,
quoted in the New York Times, August 2, 2006 page A 9.


I'm sure you are familiar with Adm.Hyman Rickover, the Father of the Nuclear Navy and of Shippensport nuclear reactor. In the twilight of his career, he testified before Congress in January 1982. Below is an excerpt from his testimony. Given who this man was and what he did, his statements were profound and 'eye-opening' for all and for pro-nukers to say the least.

Here's an excerpt from Rickover's testimony: "I'll be philosophical. Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn't have any life fish or anything. Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet and probably in the entire system reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin... Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible... Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it... I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships. That is a necessary evil. I would sink them all. Have I given you an answer to your question?"

On the hazards of nuclear power.
Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982);
published in Economics of Defense Policy:
Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee,
Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)

* submitted by Patty Ameno