Nuclear Power Plants Must Consume Immense Amounts Of Water

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Nuclear power plants must consume immense amounts of water to function properly. This water is needed to constantly cool the very hot reactor core. Without ample cooling, the reactor core will melt down, causing a catastrophic radiation leak. Nesmith states, "Nuclear power plants withdraw nearly eight times the freshwater of natural gas plants per unit of electricity" (Nesmith 37). This incredible inefficiency is what eliminates nuclear power plants as a possible long term power source. This requirement also severely limits the locations where a nuclear power plant can be built. This limitation draws a lot of attention from wildlife organizations, since many of these organizations want to preserve aquatic life. Environmental…show more content…
As reactors get more complicated, construction time and the cost of the plant will only increase exponentially. This leads to cutting edge technologies becoming obsolete during the construction process, safety features suddenly becoming inadequate, and large, expensive renovations required to make the power plant functional. Throwing millions of dollars into renovating an already multimillion dollar “state of the art” reactor is not fiscally logical. This never ending cycle makes nuclear reactors the least cost efficient form of clean energy.
The risk of a major core meltdown is much higher than previously expected, raising doubts concerning the safety of nuclear reactors. With Chernobyl being the example of a worst case scenario, scientists want to know how likely another reactor meltdown will be. With the large number of reactors currently active in the United States, the odds are not looking good. Rose states, "The United States, with 104 reactors, can therefore expect one accident within the next 25 years with a probability of 50.4%" (Rose 113). This number will only increase as more reactors are built and made functional. The looming threat of a nuclear disaster that will statistically strike in the next 25 years is often overlooked or drowned out by promises of new technology that will completely prevent a reactor meltdown. The potential for disaster is not worth the marginal
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