Nuclear Energy : An Alternative Source Of Power

1031 WordsMar 27, 20165 Pages
According to Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, “The common definition for nuclear energy is the energy released by a nuclear reaction, especially by fission or fusion. Practically speaking, nuclear energy uses fuel made from mined and processed uranium to make steam and generate electricity” (Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation). Nuclear energy has been around for a while, dating back to the development stages in the early 1900’s and then the expansion of its’ uses leading up to this day. Nuclear energy is a very debatable issue in the world today because of it’s potential good and potential bad. There are many benefits of nuclear energy and it’s uses and that is why it is a great method for generating electricity. Nuclear energy…show more content…
The coal-fired plants that dominate U.S. energy production also produce more emissions than any other energy source. Emissions are measured in pounds of emissions per megawatt hour of energy produced. Coal generates 2,249 pounds of carbon dioxide, 13 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 6 pounds of nitrogen oxides for every megawatt hour of energy generated. Natural gas -- the second most common source of energy in the U.S. -- fares better with respect to emissions, producing 1,135 pounds of carbon dioxide, 0.1 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 1.7 pounds of nitrogen oxides per megawatt hour” (Demand Media). Why this is important to understand it that Nuclear powered energy producing plants do not emit any of these greenhouse gasses. Contrary to popular belief, Nuclear power plants do not emit high levels of radiation that could potentially cause cancer Although Nuclear power plants do emit radiation, the amount is so slight that it is not even relevant. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports that people living close to a nuclear power plant receive, at most, an additional one millirem of radiation exposure a year. To put this in perspective, one millirem is one thousandth of the radiation exposure from a single whole-body CAT scan. The average American is exposed to 620 millirem of radiation every year. Three hundred millirem comes from natural sources, such as cosmic rays,
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