The World Needs More Nuclear Power Essay

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Opponents of the nuclear industry conjure up frightful images of nuclear accidents to spread terror to those who could benefit from its awesome bounty. A misguided desire to protect the environment blinds people to the reality that nuclear power is a "green" energy source. Nuclear power is superior to traditional power generation in almost every way whether it is looked at from an environmental, economic or technical point of view. Currently, most consumer power generation is achieved through the burning of fossil fuels. Skeptics of nuclear energy’s potential have long contended that fossil fuels are safer to process, are better for the environment and pose less of a long term hazard than nuclear power. Concerns over safety also…show more content…
This gives nuclear power a much smaller carbon footprint than its traditional counterparts. The second advantage is that nuclear power plants have less emitted radiation than traditional power plants. This is somewhat of a surprise as nuclear energy is based on radioactive materials. The answer to this conundrum is the ability to contain the radiation. Nuclear power plants are heavily shielded and often built underground to keep the surrounding environment from being exposed to excess radiation. Traditional power plants emit 0.03 millirem per year as opposed to nuclear power plants emitting 0.009 millirem per year (McGregor, para 13). These two advantages combine to make nuclear power a much more environmentally attractive alternative to coal and natural gas. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are two bloody shirts that opponents to nuclear power have waved in their arguments against its proliferation. Chernobyl was a nuclear disaster in Russia that exposed the surrounding area to a severe amount of radioactive material. While the immediate damage and long term effects were severe, there were several factors involved in the accident that made it much worse than could be possible today. The reactor was not properly shielded nor were there safety protocols in place to mitigate such a disaster. In short, the Chernobyl reactor was a result of cutting corners and
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