Nuclear Energy: The New Green Energy Alternative? Essay

1025 Words 5 Pages
The nuclear energy debate has persisted for decades. Those who strongly oppose it argue that its benefits, such as carbon-free emissions and low fuel costs, are almost irrelevant when the risk posed by radioactive waste and reactor meltdowns are factored in. The problem revolves around how little waste storage is prioritized in the planning stages of a reactor, including the locations of waste storage, leading to a surplus of radioactive waste at reactor sites. With the progress being made to advance waste disposal methods and increase public participation in countries that need storage for accumulating waste and developing countries considering nuclear energy, nuclear energy could be the new "green" energy alternative.
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Once such an institution, whether it is overseen by the government or privately owned, is established countries can turn their attention to conceptualizing strategies to garner public cooperation, change environmentalists negative opinions, and overcome political opposition, which seems to be the death of many of these projects. If developing countries are more inclined to utilize nuclear energy with a clear and safe method of disposal established, they, along with nuclear states, will be more open to the idea of a multinational repository site. A multinational site would mean a reduced amount of spent fuel and radioactive waste at already overburdened nuclear reactors that would be waiting decades for a geological repository to be built (McCombie).
Careful planning and support from volunteer communities have helped repository sites like the one in Osthammar, Sweden avoid the fate of the United State's Yucca Mountain Project. The United States is an established nuclear state with many reactors providing a stable and steady amount of energy to major cities, but with no place to take the waste produced by all of these reactors. That's where Yucca Mountain came in. It presented an ideal alternative to the current methods of waste storage, such as the dry cask design presently used by the United States, because it takes the spent nuclear fuel out of the reactors…