America Needs Nuclear Power Essay

1976 Words 8 Pages
Nuclear power plants are a safe, clean and reliable source of energy production. They are uniquely qualified to meet the growing demand for energy in the USA.

It is estimated that the demand for power will grow two and a half percent per year. Even if the demand for energy didn’t increase in the future but stayed where it is nuclear would still be the best choice for power production. Nuclear costs less and is environmentally cleaner than coal, which currently supplies approximately fifty percent of the power in the U.S. (Loewen 53). In addition nuclear has an exemplary safety record. The group of people who oppose nuclear and promote renewable power sources, hereafter termed environmentalists, do so for very sound reasons. However,
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They claim w e don’t need nuclear, because renewables are a better, cleaner option. These first two objections to nuclear energy are undeniable. Radiation is dangerous and there are problems with nuclear waste. The third argument against nuclear energy has merit but environmentalists don’t take into account some of the realities about renewables (Loewen 52).

Renewables are better environmentally than any other power source under specific circumstances. The two most touted renewable energy sources are wind power and solar power. The specific circumstances in which they are better are when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. Unfortunately, neither the wind nor the sun can be guaranteed to function for any specific date or time. The sun can only be guaranteed not to shine for approximately twelve hours a day and wind has no guarantees at all. Also, technology is not advanced enough to adequately harness the power provided by the sun and wind when they are available. It would take five hundred times the amount of land to build a solar plant with the same output as a nuclear plant (Oliver Hospers 24-25).

If renewables are not an option for increased power production, we will have to use one of the five base-load generators already in use: coal, oil, nuclear, natural gas and hydroelectric.

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