I've had the opportunity to work as a cyber security assessor for a nuclear power plant that is part of a fleet. I have never seen such a concentration of deliberate, careful, and conservative people across so many skill sets. There are plenty of times where they fall into the "too smart for their own good" category, but they know EXACTLY forces they are dealing with every-single-day. I haven't met a single "Homer Simpson." I even had the opportunity to meet some of the engineers from Fukushima Daini (Daichi's neighbor 5 miles south) to hear first-hand accounts of their harrowing story and their lessons learned form the 2011 Tsunami. If they are flying these guys around the US to discuss lessons learned, they are taking their work seriously in a way few others can really appreciate.
That doesn't mean that the don't have their own problems. The industry is extremely insular. It's a mix of both intentional reasons and unintentional consequences. These power plants are pretty far out of the way from major population centers and they can be easily mistaken for other power plant types if you don't know what to look for. There are ONLY 68 running Nuclear Energy Sites in the country and, because of 9/11, they have surveillance and buffer zones that make it hard for casual onlookers to even get close. Essentially, they become out-of-site/out-of mind. Case in point: NONE of my New Orleans neighbors realize there is a nuclear power plant less than 10 miles away! (Waterford 3 is not the one I've worked at).
The next problem is the US's abysmal investment in infrastructure in the last 40 years. The last site's construction finished in 1990 (started 1978) in the US. The new AP1000s just started construction within the last 5 years... and there are only 4 of them! MEANWHILE, Canada, China, the UK, Japan, and the like have been regularly innovating and investing in nuclear power that makes our old system look broken and decrepit.
Finally, the biggest failure on the commercial side of nuclear energy is the whole-stock abandonment of Breeder Reactors. Because the Navy had plenty of water to cool their ship reactors and there were increasingly more availability of uranium, these safer and more efficient reactors never made it to market. But little was done after the 60's to push the tech and it is only now being rediscovered This is tantamount to you driving a brand-new car with only 1970's technology under the hood (no computers, catalytic converters, etc)... you may have a nice shell, but good luck getting the power, fuel economy, or dependability (100k mile warranty anyone?).
Then there is the elephant in the room: FUSION. Lockheed Martin claims that they will have a fusion reactor by 2024. Germany has this freaky-looking stellarator that, by the test conducted in February, will be able to sustain the 100 MILLION Degrees Celsius heat needed for fusion to occur with its next upgrade. China apparently did something with something to ensure people knew they were in the race.
The bottom line is that renewable energy will not whole-stock replace our needs for a consumable fuel given any of our current scientific knowledge. It will not replace our needs in space exploration nor in deep water. Nuclear may take a long time to get places, but it is consistent and predictable and transportable in a way that no other energy generation currently can be. We have the most good science on how to make nuclear energy work for us in a way other fuels cannot and we should not leave it on the side-lines because we have limited ourselves to an in-the-moment mentality about how to save ourselves and the world around us.