Nuclear Power Plants and Nuclear Waste

Decent Essays

The purpose of a nuclear power plant is to produce electricity for supporting increases in consumption. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) defines nuclear energy as “the energy released by a nuclear reaction, especially by fission or fusion. In general terms, nuclear energy uses fuel made from mined and processed uranium to make steam and generate electricity” (ENEC 2011). Nuclear power plant currently producing electricity in the U.S include the Pressurized Water Reactor and the Boiling Water Reactor. To illustrate the importance of nuclear energy to the United States, 20% of our nation’s electricity production comes from the 104 commercially operating reactors (Funk and Socacool 2012). However, security issues surrounding nuclear power lead to the U.S nuclear regulatory agencies imposing strict regulations on the production of nuclear energy.
As a result, development and construction time of a nuclear power plant is a complex process. Before an applicant can start building a nuclear power plant, it must receive approval from the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Previous regulations required that a nuclear power plant was licensed under a two-step licensing process (NRC 2004). This former process required both a construction permit and an operating license (NRC 2004). In 1989, the NRC established an alternative licensing process which formed a joint license between the construction permit and an operating license (NRC 2004). Following approval from the U.S NRC

Get Access