Energy of the Future
Nuclear power is the way to go
Nuclear Energy is the world's largest source of emission free energy ("The Benefits of Nuclear Energy"), but people are scared to use it. People are afraid that there will be an accident, which would be harmful - maybe even deadly - to them. Nuclear power is created by fissions or fusions, where uranium atoms split. This creates heat which boils water into steam, the steam turns turbines to create power ("The benefits of Nuclear Energy"). There are 430 nuclear power plants in the world. Some are also used to power airplanes and submarines ("Nuclear Power in the World Today"). Since nuclear energy is created without burning coal or natural gasses, it is the best source of clean energy. Though there is no emission, the used uranium - or spent fuel - needs to be disposed of properly. Nuclear power plants should be used as a source of energy because they produce large amounts of energy without heavily polluting the air.
What They Say
Nuclear reactors don't produce enough energy to combat what they use to get it. The amount of energy used to obtain and transport uranium makes the amount of energy created not worth having nuclear plants.
Even though nuclear power plants don't pollute the air, used uranium is dangerous to be stored. This 'spent fuel' is highly radioactive and requires special storage and handling to prevent it from leaking into the environment (Galperin 14).
Nuclear power plants produce a lot of energy. In fact, newer plants produce electricity two times that of coal-generated electricity (Galperin 9). Uranium doesn't need its own mine, it can also be a by-product of other mineral processing operations ("Nuclear Fuel Processes"). The cost of mining is low. After the uranium has been refined, it is transported to the plants. This transportation is done with trucks and inexpensive. With a few fuel rods, a lot of energy is produced. This means that plants take up only a little space, leaving much room for wildlife. The amount of energy that is created from a small amount of fuel greatly outweighs the amount it needs to acquire the fuel.
Nuclear power plants don't harm the environment at all, unless there is some sort of accident. The nuclear industry is the only industry established since the industrial revolution that has managed and accounted for all of its waste, preventing adverse impacts on the environment. The small amount of waste products is safely packed and stored ("The Benefits of Nuclear Energy"). The only incidents are a product of human ignorance and error (Galperin 22). Water discharged from plants contains no harmful pollutants and meets regulatory standards for temperature designed to protect aquatic life ("The Benefits of Nuclear Energy"). Nuclear plants do not produce gasses like nitrogen oxide or sulfur that could cause global warming ("The Benefits of Nuclear Energy"). Along with these, the size of nuclear plants is small. Nuclear plants barely affect the environment more than regular trash, as long as it is stored properly.
Where Do We Store Nuclear Waste?
Nuclear power is the Nuclear power is the best source of energy out there. When handled correctly, it has no pollution. Now-a-days tons of energy is being created from it. Renewable resources like wind and solar aren't enough to fuel the world, and coal and natural gas is ruining our Earth. Nuclear energy is the direction we're headed in, and it's the right one.
Galperin, Anne. Nuclear Energy; Nuclear Waste. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1992. Print.
"Nuclear Fuel Processes." Nuclear Energy Institute. Nuclear Energy Institute. 2015. Web. 8 Feb. 2015.
"Nuclear Power in the World Today." World Nuclear Association. World Nuclear Association, Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.
"The benefits of Nuclear Energy." Community Science Action Guides. The Franklin Institute Science Museum, Web. 12 Feb. 2015.