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Nuclear Power Essay

834 words - 4 pages

Nuclear power, although relatively new, is one of the most productive major sources of energy. It has been readily embraced by France, Russia, the United States,and initially Japan, four of the world’s leading nations. Of course, as with every energy source, there are some drawbacks, the bulk of which have to do with safety concerns. For this reason, this particular source faces enormous opposition. Yet, the negatives are so heavily outweighed by the positives (i.e. high economic efficiency and low environmental impact), that they do not in any way draw from the fact that nuclear energy should definitely continue to be used, and more so.
Nuclear power is extremely cost efficient. First, it requires a very small amount of Uranium-235, the most commonly used fuel, to produce a great amount of energy. Any given amount of Uranium-235 will produce 3.7 million times the amount of energy as the same amount of coal. Although the Uranium itself is by ratio more expensive than coal, the sheer amount of coal used causes its net cost to be far greater than that of the Uranium. There is a similar relationship between nuclear and other non-renewable energy sources as well. Second, there is an abundant supply of Uranium-235. The United States, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Nigeria all contain from 270 to 2400 thousand tons each. France, Argentina, India, Algeria, Gabon, Brazil contain from 36 to 124 thousand tons each. Several other countries formerly part of the Soviet Union are also now in the market. And of course, part of the cost is returned to the economy by the mining industry, which makes the Uranium available. obviously, the use of nuclear power is remarkably economical.
Compared to other non-renewable energy sources, nuclear power is very environmentally-friendly. Coal, the leading source of energy, is terribly pollutive. It releases ridiculous amounts of Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, soot, and mercury into the environment and atmosphere. These cause acid rain, an intensified greenhouse effect, asthma, brain damage, and severe damage to lakes, forests, etc. Other harmful pollutants that are released are lead, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and arsenic. Nuclear power, on the other hand, has little to no environmental effect at all. There are literally two byproducts of the process: water and nuclear waste. The nuclear waste, as long as it is properly stored, poses no environmental threat, and the water that enters the environment as steam is absolutely harmless, and even somewhat beneficial. Without doubt,...

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