Nuclear Power -- the Future of Electricity Essay

Pages: 4 (966 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Energy

Nuclear Power -- the Future of Electricity Generation

Nuclear power production was first introduced in the United States and was touted as the future of energy. Nuclear power production has a wide range of benefits that it can offer the nation. Although there are some formidable risks in regard to nuclear power that have been illustrated by many disasters since its inception, modern technology and advanced safety management can now mitigate many of the concerns that plagued previous generations of nuclear power plants. Furthermore, the risks that are being presented by climate change and the exponentially expanding amount of greenhouse gas pollution far exceed the risks that are proposed by the use of nuclear generated power.

The time has come for a reevaluation of nuclear power and its place in powering a modern nation. Traditional sources of power generation are damaging the Earth's ability to regenerate its natural systems while alternative sources cannot meet the modern demand for power. Although nuclear power has had a mixed track record in the past, the changing environmental conditions demand that this clean and relatively safe technology be reconsidered. This paper will look at many of the advantages that nuclear power has over alternative methods of power production.

Coal

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Coal is a nonrenewable fossil fuel that has powered much of the development of the United States since it was first used for electric power generation. Even today there are over 600 plants across the country consuming 900 million tons per year to produce 40% of U.S. electricity (Congressional Digest). The use of coal in the United States has become so widespread because it is abundant in the country and the U.S. holds some of the largest reserves of coal in the world. It is estimated that, even with growing demand, the United States has enough coal to last over two hundred years based on current consumption and production patterns.

Essay on Nuclear Power -- the Future of Electricity Assignment

However, despite the prevalence of coal in the country, the percentage of electricity generated from coal in relations to other fuel sources is continually decline and is expected to continue doing so into the future. Coal fired plants are estimate to contribute approximately a third of all greenhouse gas emissions and contributes as much as pollution as all sources of all transportation sources combined (Congressional Digest). Therefore, coal fired plants have come under a lot of scrutiny for their environmental impacts and many older coal plants are being forced into retirement. Furthermore, advances in natural gas extraction have also made natural gas a viable alternative in many locations. Natural gas is generally cheaper than coal and hydraulic fracking has expanded the supply of natural gas. However, this too has an unknown amount of environmental impacts as well.

Geothermal Electricity Production

Of all the alternative fuel sources, geothermal power production has the most advantages. Unlike solar or wind power plants, the geothermal power plants may continuously produce electric power… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Nuclear Power -- the Future of Electricity."  Essaytown.com.  March 6, 2013.  Accessed October 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nuclear-power-future-electricity/9216707.