Nuclear Power, Friend or Foe?
Foe: Nuclear Power Should Not Be Used As A Power Source.
Key Components of Nuclear Power
This type of electricity is very useful and a great alternative to burning fossil fuels, as 100 grams of Uranium can create as much energy as 1000 pounds of coal. Nuclear Power is formed by nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of a radioactive atom splits simultaneously or by collision with another particle. When the atom splits, it creates heat, which forms steam from water in the core. The steam cycles turbines, which powers a generators, creating electricity. Scientists speculate the we are about 10 years away from Nuclear Fusion as an alternative reaction to power our plants. Nuclear Fusion occurs when you take two gases, tritium and deuterium, and heat them to extremely high temperatures. CNN speculates, "...you heat them under pressure to at least 100 million degrees Celsius. That's 180 million degrees Fahrenheit." When the two gases get hot enough, they turn in to plasma. When the two substances are mixed, they form a pulse of heat. In power plants, the burst of heat will evaporate water into steam. The steam will power turbines that supply energy to a generator. The generator creates power.
Chernobyl: April 26, 1986
Fukushima: March 11, 2011
- Nuclear power plants generate only about 20% of U.S. electricity.
- The United States must produce more electricity to keep up with a large demand, but relying on foreign companies to build nuclear plants means fewer jobs for Americans in the energy category.
- It can cost up to 9 billion dollars to build a nuclear power lant
- A nuclear power plant costs the same to build as 25714 100- Kw wind turbines.
- A one megawatt solar farm will cost around $2.5 Million U.S. dollars and require about five acres of land.
Alternate energy Sources
Fortunately there are many alternatives to nuclear power such as wind, solar and hydro power. Across the U.S we could use these different types of energy. In places that are windy such as Chicago IL, Brockton MA, Lubbock TX, wind turbines could be used to create the power. In other area where water flow is common, water mills could produce hydroelectricity. In areas where the sun is very radiant such as deserts, we could put solar panels to produce solar energy. All of these types of energy can add up to produce the same amount of energy as nuclear power plants but at a cheaper and safer price. Al Gore said, "I think the cost of energy will come down when we make this transition to renewable energy." That means even U.S leaders agree that energy can be cheaper when produced naturally, therefore, we should stop using nuclear energy and start using renewable energy sources.
"Nuclear power is not a miracle key for the future." -Tarja Halonen
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