Nuclear Power: A Vital Piece In The World Energy Puzzle

2183 words - 9 pages

Energy renaissance versus worldwide destruction, these two theories present common views regarding the utilization of nuclear power. Few energy resources have been spoken with such notoriety by some and praised as the final energy solution by others than nuclear power. However, the United States must increase its use of nuclear power in order to cover rising energy demand caused by the global energy crisis. In addition, nuclear power is and will be an important factor in combating atmospheric increases in CO2 and maintaining economic strength.
In 2008, A.S. Schlachter, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and fellow of the American Physical Society, presented a lecture on the worldwide energy crisis at the "Revista Mexicana de Fisica". He argued that, due to the rising cost of fossil fuels, many countries will face significant economic downfalls, and any hindrance of fuel supply, especially in oil, will lead to a global economic catastrophe. Combined with the problem of overreliance in fossil fuels, the disproportional energy consumption by 5% of the world population presents an equally detrimental factor. This small group was utilizing over 25% of global energy (Schlachter 1). Unfortunately, according to Schlachter, this energy crisis will only worsen over time. In the future, society will face both an rapid rise in world population and further shortages in fossil fuels. Data suggested that by 2050, the world population will rise from 6.3 billion to 8.9 billion people. This will force the already strained energy industry to provide power for another 2 billion people. To make matters worse, since 80% of global energy comes from non-renewable fossil fuels, energy resources will constantly decrease (Schlachter 2). Schlachter's solution to this imminent energy crisis was the continued development of sustainable energy resources and efficient utilization of energy (1). The proliferation of nuclear power can help fill the energy void caused by the continued loss of fossil fuels and a growing world population.
Despite the need to fulfill mounting energy needs, Mycle Schneider (an independent international energy and nuclear policy consultant) and Antony Frogatt (an independent European energy consultant), in their article featured in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist ,"2011–2012 World Nuclear Industry Status Report," state that continued growth of nuclear power is "hard to imagine," (Schneider and Froggatt 1). One of their major arguments was, since the stigma of being a "higher risk investment" and a "negative factor" was placed on nuclear energy by financial institutions, nuclear power will continue to see continued declines investment and will be unable to compete with other energy resources (Schneider and Froggatt 14). As an example, they pointed out that after the nuclear power disaster in Fukushima, Japan (in March, 2011), there were no new orders for the construction of new nuclear power plants for the following...

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