Nuclear Power Essay

591 WordsDec 23, 20093 Pages
Benefits of Nuclear Power One benefit of nuclear power is that through fission of uranium, the air is not polluted with nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, or carbon dioxide. In America alone the nuclear energy plants has reduced world greenhouse gases by 128 trillion tons/year, nitrogen oxide by 2 million tons/year, and sulfur dioxide by 5 million tons/year from electric utility emissions. If nuclear power were not used, emissions of approximately 1600 tons/year of CO2 would result from the use of coal. This leads to another benefit, less use of fossil fuel makes us as a country less dependant on imported oil. This in turn can reduce our trade deficit, which can increase our Gross National Product. (Lipper) Risks of Nuclear Power The risks associated with using nuclear power are accidents, environmental degradation, and what to do with nuclear waste. (Lai) Even with studies and tests done to improve safety at nuclear plants, accidents such as the meltdown at Three Mile Island, which was not supposed to happen in centuries, did happen. (Pool) Groundwater, air, land, and plants have been contaminated by the mining of uranium. 20-30 tons of radioactive waste is generated each year with no known way to safely dispose of it. (Lai) In a process called fission, uranium is used to produce nuclear energy, and produces plutonium as waste. Not only can plutonium be used for nuclear power, but it can also be used for nuclear bombs, which is another risk associated with nuclear power. In 2000 enough plutonium was produced to make more than 34,000 nuclear weapons. (Lai) Conclusion In searching for websites regarding nuclear power, it was very hard to find ones that had an unbiased opinion on the subject. Some information is contradictory, which makes it very hard to make a decision on whether or not it seems in the best interest of the people to continue with

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