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Replacement Of Fossil Fuels With Nuclear Energy For Electricity

1282 words - 5 pages

Replacement of Fossil Fuels with Nuclear Energy for Electricity

ABSTRACT
Our nation is on the brink of an energy crisis and alternative means to produce
electricity must be found. Fossil fuel resources are declining sharply and nuclear energy
is the leading form of replacement. Our research shows that the advantages to this new
energy source are extraordinary and that there are many ways to minimize its negative
aspects. Due to the overwhelming advantages, we have concluded that nuclear energy is
indeed the best solution to the nation's energy crisis and with more advanced research
and technology any future problems can be solved.

INTRODUCTION
The effects on the United States would be enormous if nuclear energy was to
completely replace fossil fuels in the production of electricity. With fossil fuel resources
disappearing quicker than can be produced, our nation is entering a serious energy crisis.
However the future may not be too bleak since many studies have come out on the
advantages of nuclear energy. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has undertaken an
immense amount of research and produced many studies on the benefits of nuclear
energy and its ability to produce the electricity necessary for the United States. Studies on
the safety of transportation, benefits of radiation, reliability and economic uses of nuclear
energy, and benefits for the environment have proved repeatedly the need for the
replacement of fossil fuels. Despite all advantages, only 20% of the nation?s electricity is
derived from nuclear energy. The United States has cancelled over one hundred nuclear
reactors and no new ones have been ordered into construction since 1970. The reasons for
these alarming numbers are unclear when developed nations such as France and Belgium
use 77% and 60% nuclear energy, respectively. While the advantages are clearly seen
throughout the many studies the negative effects are less apparent. However, it seems
Nuclear Energy for Electricity 3
that with increased research and experimentation the downsides of nuclear energy could
be minimized to such an extent that in the future all electricity could be produced though
nuclear turbines.
RESULTS/DISCUSSION
There are many advantages associated with the usage of nuclear energy for
electricity. While nuclear energy may seem like an expensive replacement for fossil fuels,
in the long run it will cost no more than coal. Though the construction of nuclear power
plants is far more expensive and time consuming than that of coal burning plants, the cost
of actually running nuclear plants is far less. In the following years the total budget will
even out to equal that of coal plants. The construction costs of nuclear plants comes out
to be approximately two to six billion dollars (Nuclear energy in the United States, 2003)
but according to studies by NEI the average production costs of nuclear energy have been
decreasing in the past decade. In 1987 the price was at...

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