First of all, I'd like to present a statistic that would, and should, interest absolutely everyone. If you look at the deaths per kilowatt hour generated, nuclear power barely even makes the scale. In deaths/trillion kilowatt hours, nuclear power boasts a mortality rate of -- wait for it -- 0.01%. This INCLUDES Chernobyl. There has never been a single death in relation to nuclear power in the US in nuclear power's entire history. www.forbes.com/.../
Another problem with discussing Chernobyl as a reason to stop nuclear power is that the circumstances under which it happened are unique. The type of nuclear reactor used at Chernobyl is called the RBMK. It was an inherently unsafe, inefficient, and paradoxical design, which was used ONLY in Soviet Russia. The RBMK's design included something called the positive void coefficient. This means that, the hotter the reactor became, the more steam would be generated, which means more water would be pumped in, which caused more steam, which required more water and so on and so on until meltdown. This faulty design combined with the unique Soviet politics of "hide, ignore, deny" meant that people completely inexperienced and completely wrong for the job were hired, and basic safety regulations were completely overlooked.
As for nuclear waste, we HAVE a solution. Burying it in concrete, deep underground, IS a solution. It completely isolates the waste--which I'd like to point out is actually quite minimal. For every single nuclear power plant in the US, 100 to be exact, the tonnage of unusable waste amounts to 60 tons per year. That's it.
If you want to talk about cheap clean energy "that won't kill us all or disfigure us all and mess up the earth even more than it is all ready," you need to look at coal-fired power plants. Another fun fact-- the amount of highly radioactive uranium-- yes, URANIUM-- emitted from the smokestacks of ONE SINGLE COAL PLANT could power a fission reactor for one year. Not to mention greenhouse gases, other HIGHLY radioactive isotopes, fly ash, and toxic chemicals blown out of the smokestacks, every second of every hour of every day. If you want to be outraged at unclean, inefficient energy generation, start looking at coal.