The safety and efficiency statistics are staggering. They are undeniable and unavoidable. Yet nuclear energy still gets a bad rap and it's increasingly harder to understand why.

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Getty Images

I mean if Forbes Magazine is touting what you do as top notch and second to none, why isn't anyone else around the country besides us taking notice?

A  PhD scientist who writes about nuclear, energy and the environment for Forbes did a piece on Richland's Energy Northwest that I highly encourage you to read in its entirety here because it's worth it and eye-opening.

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Did you know Richland's Energy Northwest has earned the 2020 Award of Excellence for safe operating practices from the American Public Power Association? Energy Northwest operates the only nuclear power plant in the region, the Columbia Generating Station. The first place recognition came in the category for utilities with 1 million to 3.9 million worker-hours.

Nuclear energy is the safest of all energy sources by any measure in any study. Simultaneously, nuclear has the highest rate of electricity generation of any energy source, producing the amount of electricity it's supposed to produce over 90% of the time, even when there are scheduled outages for fuel replacement.

Tribune News Service via Getty I
Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Comparatively, natural gas has about a 60% conversion rate, coal averages about 55%, hydro's rate is about 44%, wind 35% and solar 25%. Nuclear takes hardly any fuel, produces very little waste, which Hanford types are getting a better grip on every day, (can you say vitrification?) and the incredible longevity of nuclear power.

With all of this hard evidence, it is baffling why the anti-nuke activists and other members of the general public continue to say nuclear power is unsafe. Is it willful ignorance, or agenda driven? Seen too many movies? We are a long way and time removed from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

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Getty Images

Not only is Energy Northwest safe and productive, it’s part of a non-profit public agency, formed as a Washington State joint operating agency in 1957. Electricity from Columbia Generating Station is distributed to 92 utilities across the Pacific Northwest as part of the Bonneville Power Association.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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