Impact of Coal vs Uranium Power Plants Essay

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Impact of Coal vs Uranium Power Plants Currently our country, and especially California, is confronting a serious energy crisis. Newspaper headlines warn of blackouts and tremendous rate increases. The cost of all we buy will increase in an effort to cover the added expenses. They only way to control this shortage of fuel are to produce more, conserve and control the amount of energy we use or a combination of conserving and increasing production. In the United States two major sources of energy are coal and nuclear power. There are coal power plants and nuclear power plants. Both of them were built for the same purpose, to supply energy to the world. Some would say that coal is better, more efficient and safer than nuclear…show more content…
At current production levels, it is estimated that these known coal reserves will last over 200 years. (Coal Facts) Some of the major producers of hard coal include China – 1,029 megatons (mt.), United States – 914 mt., India – 290 mt., and Australia – 225 mt. (Coal Facts) Before coal was used to generate fuel, it was considered to be a widespread and abundant resource. Today the supply of coal has decreased significantly and it is acknowledged that there is not enough coal to last forever if the current consumption rate continues. Each year the world uses coal with little consideration of how much if left and how much longer it will last. Consumption rates of global hard coal throughout the world were 2,721 megatons (mt.) in 1979, 3,579 mt. in 1989, and 3,465 mt. in 1999. (Coal Facts) Uranium is also a natural element on Earth. It is found everywhere in the earth’s surface. It is a metal and looks like lead. It is believed that when the earth was forming and was only particles of dust floating in space coming together, nearby stars exploded and let off uranium. The earth’s gravity pulled in the uranium and it was mixed together with the dirt and other particles. That is how we have uranium today. (Thomas) As of 1977 known uranium reserves contained 690,000 tons. This includes about 90,000 tons produced as by-products of phosphate and copper mining. “The current price for a pound of unenriched
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