Nuclear Power: Dangerous Nemesis or Trusted Ally

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There is a national debate going on within the green energy community and it seems the number one question that keeps coming up is should we now support our one time enemy nuclear power? Many different people green and not, now, think it is the right time to take a second look at this widely used power source. When a former anti-nuclear campaigner and founding member of Greenpeace proclaims in the Washington Post “the environmental movement needs to update its views…because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster,” we should pay attention. (Alger, Findlay) Nuclear power is an energy that can be obtained from either the dividing of the nuclei of atoms (fission) or the mixing of the cores of atoms (fusion). With both of these two reactions, abundant amounts of energy occur when released. Nuclear power stations employ a device called a nuclear reactor in which plutonium or uranium atoms are divided in measured splitting reactions. The high temp energy discharged is taken and used towards producing electricity. In the U.S., there are 110 working nuclear stations, which accounts for 20 percent of current electricity output in the U.S. Thus nuclear is already providing a significant percent of the U.S. energy demands. “France began beefing up its civil nuclear program after the 1974 oil crisis.” (BEARDSLEY). France on the other hand gets more than eighty percent of its electricity generated from nuclear power. Having no natural reserves of Coal, Oil or Natural gas, was also a major factor in the choice to going nuclear and to stay nuclear. The U.S. has just the opposite in natural resources the nation is especially rich in coal and to a lesser degree a good amoun... ... middle of paper ... ...: Friend or foe?." N.p., 08 04 2010. Web. 1 Mar 2011. . BEARDSLEY, ELEANOR . "France Presses Ahead with Nuclear Power." NPR, 01 01 2006. Web. 1 Mar 2011. Brannan, Cheryl. "America Powered by the World’s Largest Supply of Coal." N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar 2011. . LaMonica, Martin. "Nuclear power: Friend or foe to renewable energy? ." Cnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar 2011. . U.N., . "The Chernobyl accident." UNSCEAR, 02 28 2011. Web. 1 Mar 2011. . Paul S. Boyer. "ENERGY CRISIS OF THE 1970s." The Oxford Companion to United States History. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. 1 Mar. 2011

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