Elon Musk says shutting down nuclear power plants is 'insane' for national security and 'anti-human'

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Elon Musk says shutting down nuclear power plants is 'insane' for national security and 'anti-human'
Elon Musk on March 9.Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk called some environmentalists "anti-human" for shutting nuclear power plants.
  • Musk has been a vocal proponent of nuclear as a vital energy source in the transition to net zero.
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Elon Musk said some environmentalists were "anti-human" for advocating the shutting down of nuclear power plants, after saying such moves were "insane" for national security.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted Friday about nuclear energy.

"Countries should be increasing nuclear power generation! It is insane from a national security standpoint & 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 it was embraced. It's not, because so-called environmentalists aren't pro clean energy, they are anti-human."

In response, Musk tweeted: "Some are indeed sadly anti-human."

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Nuclear energy is an unpopular source of renewable energy given concerns about its safety, linked to high-profile disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

A report to US Congress last year showed the country had permanently closed 12 nuclear reactors since 2012. Data from IAEA suggests 203 reactors have been shut down, amounting to 98,000 megawatts.

But in addition to warning against population collapse, which he said this week is a bigger threat to humanity than global warming, Musk has been a vocal proponent of nuclear energy as a renewable energy source, particularly since Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent oil and gas prices skyrocketing.

In a March interview with Insider, Musk said: "I want to be super clear. You should not only not shut down the nuclear power plants, but you should also reopen the ones that have already shut down. Those are the fastest to produce energy. It is crazy to shut down nuclear power plants now, especially if you are in a place where there are no natural disasters."

He added: "If you are somewhere where severe earthquakes or tsunamis occur, it is more of a question mark. If there is no massive natural disaster risk, which Germany does not have, then there is really no danger with the nuclear power plants."

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In that interview, Musk added that nuclear energy was vital until other sources like solar become more reliable, and that shutting down plants was "total madness".

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