This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Energy And Our Future Essay

1187 words - 5 pages

There is another option, one that requires more development, but does not put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Nuclear energy, while an alarming topic of discussion for some, has the potential to become a viable source of clean energy if we can figure out how to safely handle its waste products. One uranium fuel pellet pack contains an extreme amount of energy in the bonds of its atoms, equivalent to "17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal, or 149 gallons of oil" (Ehresman 1). Add cost-benefit Given our insatiable appetite for energy, nuclear energy could very well satisfy our demands. In an actual nuclear reaction, no harmful greenhouse gases or emissions are ...view middle of the document...

Older casks, or containers, for nuclear waste were shifted several inches despite being housed on concrete pads. These casks were made in 1998 for short-term storage of nuclear waste (Vastag 1-2). As of 2012, the nuclear waste still remained there. The earthquake, which was clearly stronger than the design of the plant could handle, posed a serious threat to the stability of the nuclear power plant. As America currently has no permanent storage place for nuclear waste, the spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste products must remain where they are – in facilities not meant for their long-term storage. If the storage casks at the North Anna nuclear plant had been ruptured, Virginia would have faced nuclear disaster and the unpleasant and expensive task of cleaning up the dirty radiation.
In a nuclear meltdown, several dangerous reactions occur. A lack of sufficient cooling leads to intense heat, pressure, and steam inside of the reactor, which, in turn, causes the zirconium fuel rods to melt (Marder 1). This morass of melted zirconium then sinks to the bottom of the reactor vessel, where it clogs up the coolant. A vicious cycle ensues, and eventually, the extreme imbalance of too much heat and not enough coolant causes a nuclear meltdown. If the reactor vessel has a rupture, the molten zirconium can leak into the "larger containment building surrounding it" (Marder 2), and if the containment building was ruptured, the radioactive molten zirconium could leak into the environment with disastrous consequences. According to National Geographic, who did extended research on prominent energy issues in 2011, most plants around the world rely on Generation I, II, III, or III-plus reactors (Garthwaite 1). They found that "the vast majority of plants under construction around the world, 47 in all, are considered Generation II reactor designs—the same 1970s vintage as Fukushima Daiichi, and without integrated passive safety systems" (Garthwaite 1). Fukushima was a Generation II; unsubstantiated sources reveal that Chernobyl was a Generation I. With this in mind, the development for Generation IV reactors is well under way.
As Generation IV reactors are designed to be safer and more efficient, they could assuage fears of nuclear disaster in every plant. The technological advances in coolant methods and pressure control decrease the likelihood of the lack of cooling-extreme heating vicious cycle that precedes a nuclear meltdown ("Generation IV Nuclear Reactors" 1). Also, the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), the group of countries who are working on the Generation IV reactors, claims another important...

Find Another Essay On Energy and Our Future

Understanding Our Present and Future Essay

674 words - 3 pages one stores information and gains knowledge. It is also the starting points of many theorists’ work after the 1800’s. Classical Theory allows us to understand and predict the future through the theories of the past. George Simmel argued that conflict in a variety of forms is built into all societies. He was interested in shining lights on the concerns that one faces in their daily life, such as power, conflict, love and secrecy. Simmel’s theory

Hydro and Biomass Energy: China’s Future Energy Sustainability

2694 words - 11 pages Chen 2010). Therefore, it is required to develop the renewable energy sustainability at present, because in the future it could be too late. For example, China has large opportunities to produce bioenergy (biomass energy) and hydro energy, because they have a huge amount of resources in China (Hengyun, Les, and John 2009, 10). Therefore, China is the World’s leader in biomass energy consumption (Feng, Priddle, and Wang 2007, 188) and approximately

Our Future is Not Doom and Gloom

875 words - 4 pages Chicago, Illinois - the democratic city where current president of the United States, Barack Obama, was put onto the map of America’s future. Earlier this month, while I was walking through the busy streets of downtown Chicago, I heard multiple remarks about our president being spoken. Some negative, but mostly positive. Some citizens believe that Obama is ruining our nation’s future, but in all honesty, there is no other nation that is ready to

Our Ozone Layer: Past, Present and Future

827 words - 3 pages class of chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons. CFC's proved to be an ideal compound since their invention in the late 1920's, because they are nontoxic, nonflammable and very stable. Unfortunately, because they are so stable in the lower atmosphere, they drift up into the stratosphere and break apart when hit with the sun's high energy radiation. All this extra chlorine in the stratosphere spells trouble for the ozone. One chlorine atom can

America: Our Past, Present, and Future

1337 words - 5 pages not just simple words to rally support and arouse sympathy. They were written from the very heart and soul of true belief in the future and with the hope that we could attain every single goal we strove to reach. Our fathers founded this nation with the belief in freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and individual responsibility. These are just some of the values and principles that have withstood the test of time and continue to inspire people

Fairy Tales Shape Our Childhood and Our Future

1666 words - 7 pages feelings, they help us understand our lives a little better (Bettelheim 62). If we are dealing with a tough decision or struggling with an issue, sleeping on it would be the best choice. Waking up with a renewed and open mind may help us conquer the day. Dreaming gives us insight and helps consolidate our memories from the day to help us in the future when we need to recall something (Bettelheim 63). Since dreaming is helpful in dealing with our

Energy Efficiency and Sustaining Resources For the Future

2586 words - 10 pages Energy Efficiency and Sustaining Resources For the Future Do Americans or human beings as a whole need to be more energy cautious? I think we need to become better educated and make knowledgeable decisions in how we use our energy and at what rate in which we use it. The brutal truth of the matter is that our resources of energy we are using are not going to last forever. In the United States we consumed 94,231 trillion Btu during

MicroGrids and Distributed Generation: The Future of Energy

1252 words - 5 pages 1. MICROGRIDS: INTRODUCTION The definition of a Microgrid by the U.S. Department of Energy Microgrid Exchange Group (MEG) is: “A Microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A Microgrid can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both grid-connected or island-mode.” [DOE12

Electric Cooperatives: Serving Our Members Past, Present, and Future

929 words - 4 pages Sarah. “Actually Sarah it can, even when your phone isn't plugged into the charger and your charger is still plugged into the wall it still uses energy.” When Hanna heard that she ran up to her room and unplugged her phone charger. “Wow Grandpa I didn't know all that information about electricity!” Sarah said. “See, you can actually learn a lot if you actually want to listen to my stories!” For once Sarah was actually glad she listened to the story and she couldn't wait to see what was in store for the future of electric cooperatives.

How will our future be? discribes the future perspective in short for computers and internet

840 words - 3 pages The way the future is heading seems to be very clear but as before things may change. The time to come will never reveal itself until it has actually been. From this point of view I will try to describe the way I see the future coming our way.One of the major aspects when discussing the future is how will the law be handled and how power will be dealt with. Will we be able to decide for us self what we want to do with our lives and will the

The role of Control and Automation to saving energy for the future

939 words - 4 pages A major concern about the future is how to use all required energy without damaging the environment. Along the years, the necessity of electrical energy increases dramatically with the use of technologies and machines to help in daily activities, to work or to have fun. In the Industrial Revolution this process of reduce the workforce to use machines started and, together, the problems with environment. The most energy resource used in the

Similar Essays

Energy And Our Future Essay

1996 words - 8 pages We are at a tipping point in history. On one side, there lies a world where man and nature live in a balance. On the other, there lies a frantic world of upheaval and chaos as the forces of nature combat with the needs of our civilization. The global expansion of population and the trend of urbanization in regions that are experiencing economic expansion directly result in more people relying on carbon-based resources and services. The

Is Fracking Our Energy Future? Essay

1041 words - 5 pages positive reasons to continue allowing fracking to grow in our communities. Water usage, air, land, and water pollution, are all major concerns of using the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. Government and state agencies, along with oil and gas companies are studying the effects of fracking on our natural resources. Is hydraulic fracturing our going to be our energy future? The jury is still out. Works Cited Brown, Valerie J

Antibiotics And Our Future Essay

858 words - 4 pages , double doses, resistance abounds. Antibiotic resistance, what does this really mean, and how does it affect our future existence? My sister remains steadfast in her stance against the overuse of antibiotics for her children. “While its most unpleasant to see a child sick as it is for the child to be sick, the child’s body must learn to cope and fight the minor illnesses and preserve the use of antibiotics for those more stubborn. This is one of

Our Ocean, Our Seafood, And Our Future

2137 words - 9 pages : “why”. For those business owners like us who are invested in the commercial seafood, it is important to ask why things such as the oscillation in seafood prices, lobster shell disease and the 2012 shrimp incident have occurred. The past of often the key to possible patterns in the future, especially our financial future and the health of the oceans. So what is the correlation between there recent events in the world seafood industry and the past