Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy Essay Example
Nuclear Energy is a volatile yet powerful energy source that could be used to sustain Americans for generations. Despite its potential dangers, the low greenhouse gas emissions aiding the environment, the inexpensive electricity it produces, and its sheer power outweigh its benefits.
Nuclear energy is a relatively new power source due to the new technology produced. Due to how it’s produced, Nuclear energy doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses and doesn’t deplete natural resources. As it’s environmentally friendly, moving to nuclear energy would aid in slowing down dangers such as global warming. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, it produces up to 62 percent of emission-free electricity in the United States (Renewable Resource Coalition). Nuclear energy also emits nothing but water into the atmosphere, with little CO2. The former Nasa scientist, James Hanses, published a paper showing “that nuclear energy has saved a total of 1.8 million lives in its history worldwide just by displacing air pollution that is a known killer. That includes any deaths nuclear energy has been responsible for from its accidents”(What is Nuclear).
Along with that, the electrical output is large, and is powerful enough to bring electricity to thousands of houses. It produces 20% of the US’s electricity with a little over 400 plants (What is Nuclear). Nuclear energy can also provide up to 700 new jobs per plant, plus thousands during construction.This could lead to an improvement economically, as new plants usually generate $500 million annually (Renewable Resource Coalition). Nuclear energy in the end can be a powerful and high energy production mode that can lead to more jobs, a more environmental friend energy source, and more jobs.
The power and materials used lead to many potential dangers. The simplest issue is nuclear waste, as nuclear plants usually generates around 20 metric tons of nuclear fuel waste per year (Renewable Resource Coalition). Due to how the energy is produced from the splitting of atoms, leaving the particles in a state that causes biological damage. There is also always the risk of a nuclear plant exploding or having another accident. Chernobyl is a famous example of a nuclear plant devastating nuclear accident, with Three Mile Island and Fukushima being other prominent cases.
As it exploded, killing 50 in the process, it lead to lasting radiation after the explosions. This explosion had other lasting effects, mutating and changing animal species in the area, causing 4000 cancer cases in the process (What is Nuclear). Nuclear energy is also non-renewable due to the limited uranium in the world and it needs to be completed in synthesis. This combined with the fact that many systems necessary in a nuclear plant are expensive, and safety requirements deem it necessary to build multiple of one system. This combined with the five-ten year time of construction makes it difficult to initially start up nuclear power plants. Despite the potential power and revenue that could be brought in, there are many risks that make
Nuclear power has the potential to power cities while cutting down on emissions. While the cost for construction and upkeep will be expensive, with radiation dangers with the fact it’s non-renewable. Despite all this, the power it can provide makes nuclear power plants worth the costs. A future with nuclear energy, with the research to make it more safe and reliable, could lead the world down a safer and more powerful path.
Kuet, Jesse. Benefits and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy, Stanford University, 22 Mar. 2018, http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2018/ph241/kuet2/.
“Renewable Resource Coalition: Green Energy & Resources.” Renewable Resources Coalition, 24 Sept. 2019, http://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/.
Touran, N. “What Is Nuclear Energy?” Whatisnuclear.com Icon, https://whatisnuclear.com/nuclear-energy.html.