Energy, the ability to do work, powers the world around us. Generating of energy enables all electricity, communications, and network functions. Two methods of generating energy are through nuclear power and fossil fuels. Nuclear power and fossil fuels greatly compare regarding power production, cost of production, pollution, and imposing danger.
Nuclear power plants and the burning of fossil fuels both supply significant amounts of power to the Unites States. Nuclear plants produced nineteen percent while fossil fuels produce sixty-six percent of the United State’s electricity. In 2011, the average nuclear power plant produced 12.2 billion kilowatt-hours (Energy Information Administration n.d.). The fossil fuel coal produces 1870 kilowatt-hours per ton (Energy Information Administration, n.d.). This means that a single nuclear power plant is the equivalent to over 6.5 million pounds of coal. Therefore, with regards to the amount of energy being produced, nuclear energy is both a more effective and reliable energy source.
Surprisingly, nuclear power and fossil fuels have similar, extensive, budgets. However, consider that, fossil fuels are much more frequently used and currently provide triple the amount of energy. Both nuclear and fossil fueled power plants require immense funds to manufacture, run, and maintain. It costs billions of dollars to build a nuclear power plant. After construction, to keep the plant operational, it costs forty million dollars to replace one-third of the core, every eighteen months (Nuclear Energy Institute, n.d.). The waste management of a single plant can cost between 300 and 500 million dollars, which includes storage and radioactive treatment (Nuclear Energy Institute, n.d.). Consid...
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... that security fails to intervene and the plant is not shut down. Overall, there is no imminent danger, but the possibility looms over the promising development. The argument opposing fossil fuels is the smoke from coal potentially causes cancer. Conclusively, both methods of energy productions include an extremely low chance of directly causing a fatality.
Engulfed in an energy crisis, the choice between nuclear and fossil fuel power seems clear. Nuclear power offers a clean alternative to the predominate use of fossil fuels. Nuclear energy produces more power, is more cost-effective, and cleaner than all competing energy sources. The only fault it has against fossil fuels is its unlikely, yet ever imposing danger. Despite one major setback, nuclear energy is still a powerful component that should be considered as an absolute alternative to fossil fuels.
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