Finally, An Energy Efficient Future
What's So Great About Nuclear Power?
Burning 1 kg of these sources of energy powers a 100 watt light bulb for:
- Coal - 4 days
- Gas - 6 days
- Nuclear Power - 140 years
But what about solar and wind energy?
To generate the same amount as a 1, 000-megawatt nuclear plant, other forms of energy would need:
- Wind - 150, 000 - 180, 000 acres of land
- Solar - 54, 000 acres of land
- Nuclear Power - 200 - 400 acres of land
Currently, 430 nuclear power reactors, located in 31 countries provide 11% of the world's electricity.
Why Is Nuclear Power So Much More Efficient?
Nuclear power makes use of nuclear fission which sets off a long chain that converts mass to energy. The decay of U-235 releases 200 MeV. The decomposition of 1 pound of uranium is equal to the combustion of million gallons of gas.
Environmental Effects of Nuclear Power
Nuclear energy is a renewable resource. If a renewable resource is defined as a source that will outlast the relationship between the Earth and the sun (5 billion years) and the unknown amounts of uranium are considered then nuclear energy is considered renewable.
Air Pollution - No carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide emissions. Reducing our use of fossil fuels can slow down the effects of global warming.
Waste Disposal - Through reprocessing, nuclear waste can be used again for even more energy.
The Effects on Health and Safety
Even including nuclear disasters, coal plants and other forms of energy cause more deaths that nuclear power. For every person that dies in the production of nuclear power energy, 4, 000 die in the production of coal energy.
Economic Benefits of Nuclear Power
The US has already invested $1.1 billion into developing their nuclear facilities because of the many benefits nuclear power has on the economy.
Nuclear plants employ between 400 to 700 people per plant. Thousands or workers are also needed to build the plant. Creating jobs for the people in the area improves the unemployment rate and the overall economy.
Developing countries also benefit from nuclear energy because new jobs are created which puts money into the emerging economies. The education standard also increases in the country because work at a nuclear facility would require skilled workers.