Some say that is isn’t clean at all, not true. Compared to coal, an inch long pellet of Uranium-235 has more energy than 3 tons of coal. It is extremely low in carbon emissions and emits more than wind power, but less than solar. For each kWh, of nuclear powered electricity, 149 g of oil from a powered station is released, 900g of coal from a coal powered station, and 17,000 Cubic Feet of Natural Gas. By nuclear emissions, England evades 40 million tons of carbon a year or 50% of what the cars in the nation drive.
Using nuclear energy would not accelerate climate change because it does not affect the earth when it is being made or released. (NET) Energy from nuclear plants is extremely effective. In 2012 sixty-five nuclear plants generated 769 billion kWh (EIA, 2013). This is one fifth of the nation’s energy in one year (IAEA). In the United States, coal is the only more used energy source than nuclear energy.
This means that out of a million particles in the air, about 400 of them reside carbon dioxide. This can be detrimental to our biotic organism’s health and the abiotic factors of the environment. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air can feasibly heat Earth another degree Celsius becoming unbearable, causing heat waves, sea level rise, inundation, ocean acidification, insect outbreaks, and many more contributing factors that will create a nonterminating catastrophe in the United States
With that said, to produce the equivalent amount of the energy provided by oil in one year (33 billion barrels of oil) it would take: 200 Three Gorges Dams, 2,600 Nuclear Power Plants, 5,200 Coal Fired Plants, 1,642,500 Wind Turbines and 4,562,500,000 Solar Panels. This is just 37% of the world’s energy. We tend to use oil more often because oil is the most energy dense, easiest to store and is extremely versatile. The world’s focus on utilizing non-renewable energy resources, rather than renewable resources, is problematic because if the world uses majority of its resources we will not be able to replenish it in our current lifetime. The supply of non-renewable resources goes down as the demand goes up in correspondence to our growing population.
With the supply of fossil fuels declining at a predicted rate of about 3% per year since 1971, alternative sources of power are an important issue in the minds of scientists and world leaders alike. While everyone scrambles to find the most effective way to harness solar, wind, and water power, they forget about a form of producing energy that has been researched for 70 years and is only a hair's breadth from being usable (26). Fusion, or the fusing of two atoms, the same power that fuels the sun, could fuel the world’s homes and cars. A 1,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant requires 2.7 million tons of coal per year (21) whereas proposed fusion power plant designs only require 250 kilos of fuel per year to produce more power than current methods (22). That’s 1/10800000 of the fuel required to run a coal-fired plant.
Study Fuels Debate: Thousands of Early Deaths Tied To Emissions." MSNBC (2004-09-06) .Retrieved 5 November 2008.) Annual health costs in Europe from use of coal to generate electricity are €42.8 billion, or $55 billion. ("The Unpaid Health Bill – How coal power plants make us sick". Health and Environment Alliance.
According to Mann and Gordon, fossil fuels are formed from natural operations like anaerobic decomposition when exerted on dead organisms. Typically, these organisms are estimated to be over 650 millions of years old. From this fact, fossil fuels are considered to be non-renewable since they require millions of years to form. In addition, their reserves are being depleted much faster than they are generated through power plants and refueling vehicles. Hodgson expects the world’s consumption of energy to double every fourteen years and the demand is constantly rising.
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.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the mining industry directly employs some fifty thousand Americans with nearly half that number working in the more specific field of strip mining, or mountain top removal (“Average”). The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change reports in their “Fourth Assessment Report” that coal derives half the electricity production in the U.S., with the U.S. exporting approximately six percent of the coal produced (Sims). Despite the positives, strip mining poses some serious consequences to the environment, portraying the industry in a negative light, some of which include deforestation and erosion, contamination of water, and wildlife poisoning and loss of habitat. Deforestation and erosion are the most obvious effects of strip mining. In order to get to the minerals beneath the surface of the earth, miners must clear-cut the area in which they will be working.
For these reasons and more I support nuclear energy as a power source. First, nuclear energy has proven to be the most economical energy source. 15.5 grams of Uranium can produce as much energy as 1,400 tons of coal. Using nuclear power would also lower the cost of gas because there wouldn’t have to be as much oil burning power plants, so the demand of oil wouldn’t be as high. And, lastly, with nuclear energy we wouldn’t have to keep replacing the fuel because one rod of enriched Uranium can last as long as fifty years.