Nuclear energy is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants, such as sulfur and particulates, or greenhouse gases. "Renewables" like solar, wind and biomass can help. But only nuclear power offers clean, environmentally friendly energy on a massive scale. The use of nuclear energy in place of other energy sources helps to keep the air clean, preserve the Earth's climate, avoid ground-level ozone formation and prevent acid rain. “Currently, there are 103 commercial nuclear power plants producing electricity in the United States, located at 64 sites in 31 states. They are, on average, 24 years old, and
Firstly, the atomic incidents of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and Chernobyl in Russia are often mentioned as examples for nuclear plants being unsafe. In both cases failures of workers led to a meltdown in the reactors and increased radiation in the surrounding area (Henderson 12-17). And as the recent disaster in Japan shows, a nuclear crisis cannot only be caused by human mishaps, but also by unpredictable and untamable natural hazards. Consequently, nuclear crises cannot be predicted or prevented completely. Nuclear plants are, furthermore, considered uneconomical because in the eighties the construction costs of nuclear plants were underestimated and exceeded the estimation by $100 billion (Henderson 103). Therefore, the nuclear power opponents are arguing that nuclear power is burdening the American economy unnecessarily. According to the nuclear physicist Jeff Eerkens, antinuclear groups are also claiming that nuclear power is not necessary for the future since renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power will be providing sufficient energy for the United States, and are at the same time much cheaper than the costly nuclear power plants (Eerkens 20). Over all, opponents consider nuclear power to risky and inefficient to “deserve further support from U.S. taxpayers” (Henderson 104).
• Waste from nuclear energy stays radioactive for thousands of years. Great care has to be taken in storing this waste safely.
The loudest objection raised by the anti-nuclear groups is that there is "no safe level of radiation." It is also the phoniest. The major sources of radiation are natural and ubiquitous: we are continuously bombarded with radiation from cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere and from naturally occurring radioactive elements in the earth. Compared with these background sources, the radiation from nuclear power plants is negligible.
The first advantage of nuclear energy is that it is one of the cleanest sources of energy available to us now. The process of fission doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases or emissions that are linked to global warming. Nuclear energy is currently the largest clean air energy source. It currently occupies 63.3 percent of the emission free electricity in the United States, and this must continue to get expanded upon. With increased use of nuclear energy comes a decreased use in fossil fuels, which would result in a lower carbon footprint for the U.S. This would help slow down the impact of global warming and climate change.
The nuclear energy institute refers to nuclear energy as “the most 'eco-efficient' of all energy sources because it produces the most electricity in relation to its minimal environmental impact.” Nuclear energy created electricity without burning anything and is therefore emission-free. The areas around nuclear power plants and their cooling ponds are so clean, they are often developed as wetlands that provide nesting areas for waterfowl and other birds, new habitats for fish, and the preservation of other wildlife as well as trees, flowers, and grasses not to mention the amount of actual land a nuclear power plant uses in relation to the amount of
It is estimated that the demand for power will grow two and a half percent per year. Even if the demand for energy didn’t increase in the future but stayed where it is nuclear would still be the best choice for power production. Nuclear costs less and is environmentally cleaner than coal, which currently supplies approximately fifty percent of the power in the U.S. (Loewen 53). In addition nuclear has an exemplary safety record. The group of people who oppose nuclear and promote renewable power sources, hereafter termed environmentalists, do so for very sound reasons. However,
Firstly, the usage of nuclear power is consistent and plentiful. As we know, the reaction of nuclear can emit a great power of energy, it can support vast of families’ and enormous plants’ working. In addition, unlike solar energy and wind power, which depend on external factors, nuclear power is consistent generate at anytime and anywhere. Secondly, since the nuclear power is easy to produce and it also can generate a huge amount of power, it is much cheaper to use it. What’s more, like Hill’s saying, “with the cost of natural gas and oil soaring”, the nuclear plants have return back to work and produce massive energy. Lastly, nuclear power benefits to environment: not only because it does not produce the carbon emissions, which can alleviates the global warming; but also it reduces the noxious byproducts, like sulfur dioxide, which is main reason of air pollution. Therefore, using the nuclear power is an ideal energy resource for human
Nuclear power is a much greener option than others, and can help prevent the devastating effects of fossil fuels on the environment. Burning fossil fuels releases thousands of tons of GHGs (greenhouse gasses) into the air that cause a variety of serious environmental problems. The emissions cause global warming which leads to the melting of polar ice caps and the raising of oceans. This also causes acid rain and air pollution which pollutes water sources, accelerates erosion and damages ecosystems (Pacific
The United States of America’s population constitutes just 5% of the world’s population, yet it consumes nearly 24% of the world’s energy. Because of our huge consumption of energy, we harm our environment in different ways, like producing massive amounts CO2 emissions which have catastrophic effects, such as climate change, that directly impact us and the different forms of life around us. To cut down on these negative effects, researchers have developed more environmentally friendly methods of energy production. The debate now centers around which energy method is better than the rest. Although there are many energy-generating methods, we will focus on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, as well as nuclear power. Shrader-Frechette opposes nuclear energy because it 's seen as unclean, expensive, and dangerous. Senator Lamar Alexander opposes wind and solar energies because the sheer amount of space required by these energy producing methods does more harm to our environment than good. Even if Shrader is right about the disadvantages of nuclear power, which she is not, its worldwide use as our main source of energy would pose an insignificant threat compared to the dangers of the impact solar and wind power would have on the environment. We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear power -- the one relatively safe, available, energy source -- now or suffer the pain soon to be
Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear energy has the lowest impact on the environment since it does not release any gases like carbon dioxide, methane which are largely responsible for
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.
As each year passes, more and more electricity will be made as a result of increased nuclear power plants around the world. The economic benefits of nuclear energy are equally advantageous as the environmental aspects.
The world's natural resources are being consumed at an alarming rate. As these resources diminish, people will be seeking alternative sources by which to generate electricity for heat and light. The only practical short-term solution for the energy/pollution crisis should be nuclear power because it is available, cleaner and safer.
Global demand and consumption of energy is at an all time high; the world needs a safe, efficient, clean, and high producing source of energy production. The solution is something we already use for energy production, Nuclear power. From the beginning of nuclear energy there has been concerns over the safety of the power plants and its impact on the environment. With climate change and more accurate information on nuclear power the tide is shifting in its favor. This paper will explore the positives of nuclear power, political change on nuclear power, safety of the energy source and new technologies associated with the nuclear power process. Most importantly are the risks associated with nuclear power worth it? Research suggests that nuclear power is safer now more than ever and has less of an impact on the environment than coal or oil. Public support and misconceptions over the years have been up and down due to political agendas and those who are misinformed about nuclear power. Individuals who are involved in the energy field are in favor of nuclear power and building more plants with newer technology.