Nuclear Power: Problem or Solution

2397 Words May 16th, 2011 10 Pages
Nuclear power is complicated. A nuclear power plant provides energy that does not contribute to global warming. Climate concerns have seen a rise in the construction of new reactors to address growing demands of electricity worldwide. Currently the United States and Canada receive 20% of their electric power from nuclear plants. The rest of the world is at 6% but rising. The benefits drive the nuclear energy movement and continue to do so and the proponents of nuclear power see this as an indispensable solution in reducing the consumption of conflict-ridden fossil fuels. Opponents of nuclear power also make a strong case citing cost, safety and justified global concern of waste storage and the potential for nuclear weapons in areas …show more content…
Coal is abundant across many parts of the globe but contributes to global warming (there is research and development in developing a “clean” coal and this has been proven viable but bringing it to market at a competitive price has not happened). Natural gas is also fairly abundant but unsustainable in power generation and makes little sense. This being said enhances the argument for nuclear energy plants to assume that the future plants being built will continue to grow worldwide and that as this continues, the industry will strive to address cost and bolster safety. The other side of this issue sheds a different light on the same subject. The expense of nuclear energy is measured differently. Financial expense is a factor but fear is the most major concern. Nuclear energy has no pollution or emissions but the by-products of the process namely waste, and how it is stored, transported and discarded is regarded by many as the downside of nuclear energy. The safety of power plants was the original concern but as these expanded across our country and the world, the waste has come to be a mightier concern from the holding and containing in plants, to the transporting over highways and ultimately the storage of these toxic materials, with a half-life of a thousand years. The potential harm of radioactive waste is to humans, wildlife and the

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