Because of the idea that recreational drugs are 'bad', we've had almost no advancement in the 'science' of recreational drugs. A few new substances have slipped through the cracks. Much of the interesting work has been done by a lone chemist, Alexander Shulgin. But every new drug, if at all effective in being 'recreational', is made illegal. The result? Rather than banning all recreational drugs, we insist that people stick to the two well-known drugs that cause by far the most damage to society: alcohol and tobacco.
The same thing has happened with nuclear power. Since Three Mile Island, no new reactors have come online in the United States. Opponents of nuclear power have succeeded in stopping all improvements in safety, cost, and efficiency. The result? 40+ year old plants are continually relicensed even though there are much safer designs available. Fears of proliferation have stopped fuel reprocessing, creating the problem of where to store spent fuel. NIMBY activism has stopped the use of the Yucca Mountain storage facility, forcing on-site storage of spent fuel.
We should be building modern, passive-safe plants. We should be investigating inherently-safe alternatives like thorium-fueled molten salt reactors. The best way to get rid of these old power stations is to make them obsolete.
Of course the anti-nuclear activists don't want the old plants to continue to run. They want them shut down, forcing society to retreat to even older and more toxic drugs: coal and oil.