America Needs Nuclear Energy Essay

623 words - 2 pages

America Needs Nuclear Energy

There are many power sources that can be utilized for our everyday lives; to heat our homes , run our toasters, and light our hallways. Most of that power either directly or indirectly comes form the sun(such as solar energy and fossil fuels). But one energy source that derived by the pure ingenuity of man is nuclear power. As with all power sources there are positive and negative externalities. For example: the burning of fossil fuel releases SOX and NOX into the air which can cause harm to the health of humans ie. negative externality. But what is the the environmental effect of using nuclear energy? What is the cost of extracting all this energy from so little?

Radioactivity has always naturally existed on earth. The cosmic radiation that constantly strikes the earth is an example of this natural radioactivity. Scientists believe this background radiation has no effect on the majority of people, but they are concerned with radiation caused by humans effects to capitalize on nuclear power (“Radioactive”). The Chernobyl accident is one example of radioactivity having a negative impact on people. They are still unsure of the number of people affected by the radiation released at Chernobyl, it is not yet known how many cases of cancer, birth defects, and skin disease will have been linked to the Chernobyl accident (Nuclear).

The disposal of of nuclear waste is another environmental concern that must be dealt with in a smart manner. This is a highly debated topic for several reasons. Having a half-life of 10,000+ years, some radioactive substances will stay highly dangerous for thousands of years. One possible solution to the storage of nuclear waste is the Yucca mountain project (McCombie). This would provide a universal storage site for all of the nuclear waste of the United States. However;...

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