Nuclear Energy Is An Answer To Global Warming

1204 words - 5 pages

Global Warming is and has been an on going issue throughout the world for many years. One of the many questions brought from it is, 'Is nuclear energy the answer to global warming?'Nuclear power plants use the heat given off during fission as fuel. Fission takes place inside the reactor of a nuclear power plant, where it generates heat. The heat is used to boil water into steam. The steam turns huge turbine blades and as they turn, they drive generators that make electricity. Afterward, the steam is changed back into water and cooled in a separate structure at the power plant called a cooling tower.In 2006 there are 442 licensed nuclear power plants in 31 different countries. Together they provide about 17% of the world with electricity.As nuclear energy only gives out low emission and does not pollute the air, many people believe it is the way forwards. But there are many disadvantages too, such as the radioactive waste and/or risk of explosions.There are many other pros and cons for nuclear energy solving the world's problem of global warming, but in the long run I believe nuclear energy will help our world.The big advantage of nuclear energy concerning the environment is that during the process of making electricity, no air pollutants such as greenhouse gases or sulphur particles are given off. This means it is a lot safer for the environment than current forms of energy used, such as coal fired power plants which pollute our air with greenhouse gasses and cause acid rain. A coal power plant actually releases 100 times more radioactivities into the atmosphere that a properly functioning nuclear power plant.However, it is argued that if nuclear power plants take over the coal power stations it will not make any difference as most of the C02 emissions come from cars anyways.On the only other negative side of nuclear energy and the environment, is nuclear energy does create thermal pollution - the cooling water in often released into rivers/sea causing an increase temperature. This threatens aquatic life and can cause some animals to die.Nuclear power plants are very economic as they produce a huge amount electricity on a small amount of fuel. They only need to be refuelled once a year which is a huge advantage against coal powered stations as coal stations use masses of coal each day. The power plants themselves are large and can run of long periods of time, making them very efficient.Nuclear power plants also have very cheap fuel costs. Uranium, compared with coal, oil and gas fired plants is very cheap. There is also a large reserve of Uranium as so little is needed in the first place. Comparing this to coal, which is said to run out in years to come, this is a huge advantage. Uranium is found mainly in Australia and Canada.Nuclear power would also be better to use as it is cheaper to run than other sources of energy which are used now.The only disadvantage is that nuclear power plants cost a lot of money to build. But if it benefits the...

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