Hydroelectric vs Nuclear Power Essay

732 WordsMay 18, 20053 Pages
Together nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams provide about 50% of the power generated for the United States doing so in a clean and efficient manner. Both systems have their ups and down, radiation and disrupting ecosystems for example, but their benefits far outweigh the small risks and problems they create. We have progressed in leaps and bounds in power development making these two much safer and efficient than most other ways to generate electricity. Hydroelectric dams create a substantial amount of efficient clean power using a renewable resource. Because water is used to generate the power there are no emissions of greenhouse gases to pollute the environment. Running out of water is also not a problem seeing as we would…show more content…
Nuclear power is, to many people, seen as unsafe and unstable much attributed to the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl plant failures, Chernobyl actually having a meltdown releasing radiation into the atmosphere. What people fail to realize is that nuclear power is the cheapest and one of the cleanest ways of producing power. Nuclear plants create no greenhouse gases to pollute the atmosphere and are very reliable, not depending on solar cycle or rainfall to produce energy. Nuclear waste is also an issue most people bring up but in our advances in technology we now have proven and effective ways to dispose of the waste. With the amount of uranium we have on the planet and the amount used to create power we have virtually an unlimited supply of fuel. Though not abundant, as with most power generation processes there are adverse effects with creating nuclear power. Though the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island plant disasters were blamed mostly on human error rather than equipment malfunction there is always danger when dealing with radioactive material. If a plant does have a meltdown it can be extremely dangerous causing extreme health problems and death due to the radiation. Most plants now a day, because of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl have implemented more safety features and use these events as examples. Plants are also expensive to build and can take up to 5 years to complete, but the high cost is offset by the very low
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