Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy Essay

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Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power was the world’s fastest growing form of energy in the 1990’s. However, presently it is the second slowest growing worldwide. Considering that nuclear power accounts for eleven percent of the world’s energy supply, one must ask what happened [Nuclear Power]. Why is it that the growth of nuclear power has almost completely stalled? The simple answer is that after meltdowns such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, many people are afraid of nuclear power plants, which causes great opposition to the expansion of the industry. Unfortunately, most people are not well informed about nuclear energy; many do not take the time to view its positives and negatives.

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Pollution is another topic with both pros and cons. Fossil fuels release harmful pollutants into the air such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Nuclear power does not release any of those toxins into the atmosphere. However, a pollution problem with nuclear energy is thermal pollution, where a plant’s “hot effluents” are put into a nearby body of water, and raise the temperature by a small amount but enough to cause a disturbance in the ecosystem of the lake or reservoir. Nevertheless, this could easily be solved by cooling the effluents before releasing them into the water. The other problem facing nuclear energy is waste disposal. Nuclear waste is radioactive and very dangerous. Therefore, it must be kept buried and sealed up for a long period of time until the radioactivity dies [Plasma-Material]. One positive fact about nuclear energy that is not disputed is its abundance.

It is estimated that at today’s rate of consumption, the earth has about fifty years left of fossil fuels. In contrast, due to the very small amount of uranium needed to create a huge amount of energy, the supply of nuclear energy is almost infinite [Jiskha].

Therefore, nuclear energy is not as bad as it is made out to be. Should the world convert completely to nuclear energy? Absolutely not, there are

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