Nuclear Energy

The way of the future!

The Future is Now Thanks to Science!

There are many pros to using nuclear energy as a viable resource. Using Nuclear Energy as a solution can help so many problems. Read more down below to learn why Nuclear Energy is the way to go!
The Future Is Now

What is Nuclear Energy???

The definition of nuclear energy is: "the energy released during nuclear fission or fusion, especially when used to generate electricity." In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are combined, or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy. Nuclear fission is where the nucleus of an atom splits and neutrons, along with energy, are released.In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy.Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.

Did You Know???

  • Nuclear power plants generate nearly 20% of United States' electricity.
  • Uranium is used to create nuclear power.
  • About 70% of America’s emission-free power (which means that no fossil fuel is emitted) comes from nuclear energy sources.
  • "Nuclear energy is being used in more than 30 countries around the world and even powers Mars rovers."
  • Electricity generated by nuclear energy is not as susceptible to fluctuations in price, like coal and gas.
  • "There are over 400 nuclear power reactors in use around the world."
  • The largest nuclear reactor is the Sun. The sun uses nuclear reactions to convert hydrogen atoms into helium.
  • "In the event of a disaster, should you be exposed to nuclear material – remove all of your clothes. This will also remove almost 90% of the radioactive material you were just exposed too."

The Advantages of Using Nuclear Energy

Pollution

No fear! Nuclear Power does not create any pollution or carbon dioxide emissions, so it just might help save our ozone layer from the impending doom that burning coal and wood would create.
The only issue is nuclear waste. The nuclear power plants would need to dispose of the waste so that the particles could not escape, which is an expensive process, but if we could figure out how to get rid of this waste efficiently, nuclear energy would be a more sustainable way to produce energy.

Energy

"It is estimated the amount of energy released in a nuclear fission reaction is ten million times greater than the amount released in the burning of fossil fuel atoms" like coal. Therefore, the amount of fuel that is required for nuclear power plants is much less than the amount of fuel needed for other power plants.

Job Creation

Nuclear Power Plants creates as many as 3,500 jobs for construction workers during construction."Once in operation, a nuclear energy facility created approximately 400 to 700 direct permanent jobs." There are about 100 reactors in the United States, with more than 100,000 workers contributing to the production.This benefits the economy and people in need of a job.

Reliable

Methods of energy like solar and wind power are not always reliable. For example, if it is rainy, or not windy, these options would not produce energy. On the other hand, Nuclear power plants can produce energy regardless of the weather, allowing energy 24/7.

Cost

Nowadays it is all about the money, so its good to know that the cost of the uranium, which is used to generate nuclear electricity, is quite low. Detractors (people who think nuclear energy has no worth) argue that set up costs of nuclear power plants is relativity high, but the cost of running the plant is low.Even if the cost of uranium rises, the increase in cost of electricity will be a lot lower.

Cons For Using Nuclear Energy

Accidents

There have been some nuclear accidents, the two most gruesome being Chernobyl and Fukushima. The accident at Fukushima was caused by several tsunami waves hitting the facility. Chernobyl happened because there was a flawed reactor design. In the Chernobyl incident,"it's thought that about 30 power station workers and firefighters died at the time of the accident or in the weeks following it." Others died later due to cancer from radiation exposure. It is known that a couple thousand people died after Chernobyl because of the radiation, yet scientists are still arguing over how many lives the radiation is going to take. In Fukushima, no one is known to have died immediately and scientists are yet again arguing about how many people are going to die due to radiation exposure.

But...

When you think about the two accidents, they both had something to do with highly unlikely circumstances and human error, both of which we have learned from, so the chances of an event like this happening again is astronomically slim.“Even if you include the death tolls from Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear energy ranks last in death per energy unit produced”. Yes, there have been some accidents with nuclear energy, yet if we have specialized people running the plants and people that are trained and prepared for any possible contingency, nuclear energy could be an overall safer option.

Waste

When you think about it, "if all the electricity use of the USA was distributed evenly among its population, and all of it came from nuclear power, then the amount of nuclear waste each person would generate per year would be 39.5 grams." This is the same as 7 quarters weight of waste, per year! On the other hand, if we got all our electricity from coal and natural gas, there would be over 10,000 kilograms of CO2/yr attributed to each person, not to mention other poisonous emissions that are going directly into the biosphere. Additionally, nuclear waste is over 90% uranium. "Thus, the spent fuel (waste) still contains 90% usable fuel!" We can use this uranium over again, so there is very little waste.

But...

Citizens still worry about fatalities from waste escaping, but when you think about it, which is safer: disposing of the radioactive waste underground where it can't hurt anyone, or putting the carbon dioxide fumes into the air we breath every day? Studies show that the world releases about 2 billion metric tons of air pollution per year. Conserve-Energy-future.com says that "Inhaling air pollution takes away at least 1-2 years of a typical human life." Nuclear energy can be a way of having energy, until a safer, more renewable option comes along.

Transportation of Waste

People are often alarmed at the fact that nuclear waste is getting transfered in trucks. Transportation of nuclear materials is often referred to as 'mobile Chernobyls'

But...

Nuclear materials and waste have been transported safely since before the creation of nuclear power, which was over 50 years ago. This is due to the fact that nuclear materials are safely packaged so that no harm can be done. "Packages that store waste during transportation are designed to ensure shielding from radiation and containment of waste, even under the most extreme accident conditions since 1971". There have been over 20,000 safe shipments of used radioactive fuels and high-level wastes. These deliveries have been made over 30 million kilometres (about 19 million miles). With this in mind we can't use the term 'mobile Chernobyls' anymore.

Cost

It is said to cost about 3 billion dollars to create a nuclear power plant.This price is supposedly rising in the future. This could be funded by taxes, which leaves many tax payers unhappy.

But...

As discussed previously, once the plant gets going, the overall cost of running of the plant is inexpensive. This can also lead to cheaper prices on nuclear energy, because it costs so little to make.

Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons technically aren't related to nuclear energy for every day use, yet people tend to associate nuclear energy with weapons.
In history there have been several accounts of nuclear weapons, the two most major being the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is still unknown how many people were killed by Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but it is estimated that over 220,000 people died. There are currently about 16,400 nuclear weapons on Earth today. Yet, there is a new nuclear weapon called Trident that is "more than 1,000 times powerful than the bomb that hit Hiroshima."Lets just hope that we do not have to use these weapons of mass destruction.

My Opinion

It is my opinion that nuclear energy is good. Nuclear energy has no polllution, creates way more electricity than fossil fuels, helps aid the economy and is reliable. I am sure that as our technologies advance we will find better ways to deal with nuclear waste. I am also sure that we will one day find a completely renewable and reliable form of energy. Yet until then, I think that over the long term, nuclear energy is our best bet in order to give future generations to come a world worth living in.

Citations!

Thank you to all of the websites that helped make this project possible!

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"Air Pollution." Air Pollution. Cathylaw, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

BBC. "How Many People Were Killed." CBBC Newsround. BBC, 26 Apr. 2006. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Blasio. N/A. Digital image. : Pandora's Promise. Blogger, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

Clipart. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

Do Something .org. "11 Facts About Nuclear Energy." 11 Facts About Nuclear Energy. Do Something, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

Maehlum, Mathias Aarre. "Energy Informative." Energy Informative. Energy Informative, 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

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"Nuclear Energy." Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Power. N.p., 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Science Kids. "Nuclear Power Facts - Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Plants, Fission, Fusion." Nuclear Power Facts - Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Plants, Fission, Fusion. Science Kids, 6 Feb. 2015. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

"Top Ten Facts About Nuclear Energy - CASEnergy Coalition." CASEnergy Coalition. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

"What Is Nuclear Energy?" Eco Glades, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

clipartPanda.n.d.

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