Chernobyl was a nuclear disaster, which could not happen in most countries because such an inferior nuclear reactor design would not be tolerated, as explained elsewhere on this site.
However, it should be noted that far more people suffer pre death each year in the USA alone, from the use of fossil fuels than have resulted from Chernobyl to date.
Not a single death in the general public due to nuclear power has ever been recorded in the USA or the western world.
If we had built only nuclear power plants over the past thirty years in lieu of coal fired plants, consider the saving of life plus the billions of dollars due to medical expenses and environmental damage, which would have accrued.
In view of the above simple facts we can only conclude that our past energy policy has bordered on insanity.
There is little doubt that electric vehicles will eventually displace the gasoline variety just as the latter displaced horse drawn transport.
Even today, electric vehicles are superior in performance in every way except for limitation on long distance travel and relatively higher initial cost.These disadvantages will be overcome by improved battery design and increased sales.
All urban transport needs could be met at this time by the use of electric vehicles in terms of technological capability. It may be noted that for 2014 well over 70,000 electric vehicles are projected to be sold and, there are around 17 models on the market representing major manufacturers. It is also encouraging to see the development of a supporting infrastructure for battery charging in many states such as California and Hawaii.
Use of electric vehicles has an obvious environmental advantage, particularly when coupled with nuclear power as the battery charging source. In this context it is also seen that overnight battery charging significantly improves power station load factor and efficiency.
It is most important to understand the true contribution to be expected from renewable energy sources such as Solar and Wind.
The first point to appreciate is that when the Sun is not present and the Wind is not adequate, there is no power. Clearly, these energy sources can never sustain the national power grid, which must be available 24/7 to meet industrial and domestic needs. The power grid would collapse if it depended solely on renewable energy. The Sun is absent for an appreciable time and, worldwide experience shows that only 25% of installed Wind capacity can be expected on a regular basis.
It follows that Solar and Wind can only be used when reliability is not essential or a backup source of energy is available. These energy sources can never replace the coal fired power plants. This does not mean that Solar and Wind can not play a part. Where they can be employed in non-essential situations they reduce the amount of energy coming from fossil fuel, which is clearly beneficial.