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The Risks from Nuclear Power Outweighs the Gains

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In today’s technological era, people have an incredibly high demand for electricity. Therefore, we have many different kinds of power plants all over the world, such as fossil-fuel power station, solar power station, and wind power station, etc. However, the potentially catastrophic global warming effects caused by fossil fuels, the staggering costs of solar power, and the unstable resource of wind power drive people to seek a more low-cost yet carbon-free way to generate electricity. In the early 20th century, scientists discovered nuclear energy. Although, nuclear power is not completely pollution-free, it is considered a zero-emission energy source. In fact, nuclear power is the only clean-air power source that is able to continuously generate a supply of electricity. Nuclear energy utilizes the concept of nuclear fission. Through splitting of the uranium atom, a large amount of energy can be released. The released energy can be harnessed to heat water and generate steam, which in turn drives turbines to generate electricity. In 1954, the first nuclear power plant started operating in the Soviet Union. Aftewards, nuclear power plants became more and more popular and spread to many countries. Base on the data from Nuclear Energy Institute, in 2014, there are thirty countries operating 435 nuclear power plants, while fifteen countries are constructing a total of 72 new nuclear power plants. In some countries, nuclear power plants provide more than 25 percent of their electricity. However, even there are many benefits of using nuclear power, there are also risks, such as the disposal of radioactive waste, radiation from the fission process, the potential of a nuclear disaster. Therefore, nuclear plants actually does not benefit so... ... middle of paper ... ... Accident and Its Consequences. Nuclear Energy Institute, July 2011. Web. 14 May 2014. Chernobyl, 26 April 1986 The accident and its consequences. International Atomic Energy Agency, 21 June 2012. Web. 14 May 2014. Electricity Costs From Different Sources. Real Clean Energy, 2 July 2012. Web. 14 May 2014. Fukushima Accident. World Nuclear Association, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. Radioactive Waste Management. World Nuclear Association, Nov. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014. Uranium: Its Uses and Hazards. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Dec. 2011. Web. 14 May 2014. . What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?. U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9 May 2013. Web. 14 May 2014. World Statistics-Nuclear Energy Around the World. Nuclear Energy Institute, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014.
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