The world as we know today is dependent on energy. The options we have currently enable us to produce energy economically but at a cost to the environment. As fossil fuel source will be diminishing over time, other alternatives will be needed. An alternative that is presently utilized is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is currently the most efficacious energy source. Every time the word ‘nuclear’ is mentioned, the first thought that people have is the devastating effects of nuclear energy. Granting it does come with its drawbacks; this form of energy emits far less pollution than conventional power plants. Even though certain disadvantages of nuclear energy are devastating, the advantages contain even greater rewards.
In the recent years, nuclear energy has gotten a comprehensive development. There are over 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operable in 31 countries, with over 370,000 MWe of total capacity. About 70 more reactors are under construction, and these numbers are still rising up (World Nuclear
Fossil fuels are a primary source for providing energy throughout the United States. These sources of energy are causing many problems involving environment, health, and pollution. The solution? Nuclear power. Nuclear power is seen as a green energy that can improve global warming. However, there a more issues that can result from using nuclear power. Even though there are a lot of people who support it, nuclear power can result in world threatening problems. Nuclear waste, expense and time, and the threat regarding to war and terrorism are constant issues related to nuclear power.
Nuclear energy is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants, such as sulfur and particulates, or greenhouse gases. "Renewables" like solar, wind and biomass can help. But only nuclear power offers clean, environmentally friendly energy on a massive scale. The use of nuclear energy in place of other energy sources helps to keep the air clean, preserve the Earth's climate, avoid ground-level ozone formation and prevent acid rain. “Currently, there are 103 commercial nuclear power plants producing electricity in the United States, located at 64 sites in 31 states. They are, on average, 24 years old, and
There is often speculation surrounding Nuclear Energy. There were reports that the British applied to the United States for permission to carry out their first atomic bomb in the flats of Nevada. These reports were met with much speculation due to the physical size and observable flaws in the British program. Many countries pursue Nuclear energy for weaponry or other status symbols. When Nuclear Energy is harnessed it can have a significant effect. Developments in Nuclear energy have had a great impact on global carbon emissions and have significantly decreased the footprint that energy production leaves on the environment. The progress that the American West and other Developing nations have made in nuclear energy provide a reliable alternative to other energy sources that increase carbon emissions.
The first advantage of nuclear energy is that it is one of the cleanest sources of energy available to us now. The process of fission doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases or emissions that are linked to global warming. Nuclear energy is currently the largest clean air energy source. It currently occupies 63.3 percent of the emission free electricity in the United States, and this must continue to get expanded upon. With increased use of nuclear energy comes a decreased use in fossil fuels, which would result in a lower carbon footprint for the U.S. This would help slow down the impact of global warming and climate change.
For example, the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island drove an all-out collapse in public support, underwriting the anemic growth in the industry in the United States over the past three decades. Anti-nuclear sentiment swelled while construction of new reactors stalled. Fears of nuclear power were further confirmed after the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Soviet Union. More recently, the 2011 earthquake, which caused a subsequent tsunami, and led to the nuclear accident in Fukushima reignited public fears about nuclear technology, and caused effects on the industry. The below chart from The Economist, showing the predicted increase in the number of nuclear reactors over time versus the reality, sums up much of the literature on this
Nuclear energy will end the world! Most people think that nuclear power and energy is a good and efficient way to gain an excess amount of power in a very short amount of time, but what they may not know is that same power and energy is killing the environment and the inhabitants of the places slowly. Nuclear weapons are an extreme danger to the Earth as well because when a nuclear weapon goes off it has the initial impact of the blast, making a massive crater in the ground, and then the residual radiation that comes off with the blast. Which leaves places devastated, irradiated, and uninhabitable for many years, such as Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
One of the greatest source of energy that planet Earth has to offer is uranium and the United States should use it in nuclear power plants once we have it in our possession. Uranium is a resource that is located beneath the planet’s surface and once it is extracted by mining it could be used into energy. Along the same lines there are many positive and negative outcomes on using this element. Uranium should be used in the nuclear power plant since these instillations are environment efficient and produce power. Some might agree if a nuclear meltdown would to happen, what would be we do or what will be the casualty if it does happen? Although, if it doesn’t happen, power plants would run smoothly then there will be power
Disposal of the high level nuclear waste that comes from nuclear power plants continues to be a big problem. It has been challenging and costly to find safe ways to store this waste. According to a report from the U.S National Academy of Sciences, it will take 3 million years for radioactive waste stored in the U.S. as of 1983 to decay to background levels (thinkquest.org). Who wants this amount of waste stored in the environment where they live? Currently in the U.S. nuclear power plants produce 3,000 tons of this high level waste each year (thinkquest.org). If nuclear power continues to be produced, this amount of waste will only continue to increase, causing a bigger dilemma as to what to do with the waste. As the waste is removed from the plant it still contains a high level of radiation. Exposure to radiation whether it occurs in the moving process or leakage from storage not only has a negative impact on the environment but also can pose a major health threat to humans. Based on the level of exposure, symptoms to humans can range from nausea and headaches to damage of nerve cells, loss of white blood cells and even death (think .org). The potential risk of exposure is not worth human life.
The environmental impacts of nuclear energy are disputed by Diesensorf (2005) and Was (2015). Diesendorf believes that pollutions of nuclear energy are serious while Was (2015) describe it as clean though there are environmental risks. Lenzen, 2008 (cited in Diesensorf, 2005) states that greenhouse gas emission of nuclear energy which based on high degree of uranium mining is 60g/kWh, which is much higher than wind power (10-29g/kWh). He further explains that the decrease of ore grades would increase the use of diesel, which would skyrocket the demand for mining process. Consequently, carbon emission of nuclear energy rises to 131r/kWh in low-grade uranium. Diesendorf (2015) describe this phenomenon is unacceptable. Was (2015), in contrast,
America’s nuclear energy plants are — by a wide margin — the nation’s largest source of carbon-free power. They produce clean, reliable electricity as well as well-paying jobs. Although several dependable nuclear plants have closed in recent years for economic reasons, nuclear energy is getting a fresh look for its ability to produce vast amounts of power without emitting greenhouse gases. And with new reactor designs, both big and small, scientists and technologists are re-engineering the future of nuclear energy for everyone’s benefit.
The use of nuclear energy is a big topic for debate. Many countries have fully embraced it while others, such as the U. S., haven’t. Nuclear energy is feared for its danger and scorned because of its wastes. On the other hand, nuclear energy does have some pros like cheaper cost of energy and environmentally safe. Reactor breeders show great promise in nuclear waste, but are it enough to convince the nation?
According to data from the Nuclear Energy Institute, nuclear energy accounted for 63.3% of emission-free electricity in the US while solar, wind and thermal energy collectively accounted for only 15.4% of emission-free electricity in the US. The operating capacity of solar and wind energy farms hinge on intermittent environmental conditions and thus, these methods are only able to attain an average capacity of 20-30%. This is in stark contrast to nuclear energy’s average capacity of 86%. 4 Opponents may point out that the processes used to build and fuel the nuclear energy plants will emit pollutants and greenhouse gases. However, studies have found that the life-cycle emissions of nuclear plants is comparable to the other forms of renewable energy.5