Energy Production Of Electricity Production Essay

Energy Production Of Electricity Production Essay

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The production of electricity is absolutely vital to modern society. We have, for better or for worse, become dependent on it. Natural resources, such as coal, have been squandered in inefficient electricity production. Coal is the dirtiest non-renewable resource, and is the largest source of electricity production. This is a very unsustainable practice, due to the finite amount of coal and the pollution generated from burning coal. Since then, in the name of sustainability, new sources of energy production have come to light, hydroelectric, solar, wind, tidal, and nuclear. All forms of energy production are dependent on the resources of the earth. For instance, hydroelectric relies on the hydrosphere, as well as the lithosphere to create the gradient that causes water to flow, and for the raw materials to construct the dam. Wind relies on the atmosphere of course, as well as the lithosphere for raw materials. Nuclear energy, relies on the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and in part on the atmosphere.

Introduction

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “in 2014, the United States generated about 4,093 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).” 39% of the electricity produced was from coal. 27% was from natural gas, 19% was nuclear, 6% was hydropower, and 7% was renewables excluding hydropower, and a measly 1% from petroleum. 67% or two-thirds of all electricity produced in the U.S. was from fossil fuels. It is becoming increasing unpopular to use fossil fuels because of the carbon dioxide produced from their combustion. Despite this, the U.S. is unquestionably dependent on fossil fuels. Even with encouragement from citizens...


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...gerous to transport than coal is. The waste of nuclear reactors is also radioactive, but with the current generation of nuclear reactors, is useless for energy production. On average, a nuclear power plant produces 20 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel. Globally, about 2,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste is produced each year. Dealing with high-level radioactive waste and low-level radioactive waste is of course a problem, and can cause harm to anything with DNA, which unfortunately means high-level radioactive waste can be lethal to nearby critters. Spent nuclear fuel takes tens of thousands of years to reach safe radioactive levels. However, the generation IV reactors will be designed to deal with what is now waste of nuclear power plants. Generation IV reactors will be able to use the actinides to produce energy, albeit not as efficiently as uranium.

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