Why Nuclear Energy Deserves a Second Chance

TheReporter By TheReporter, 21st Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

The case for nuclear power and why Three Mile Island and Chernobyl shouldn't matter.

"A new energy source..."

Three score years ago, our fathers brought forth a new energy source—carbon-free, boundless, “too cheap to meter.” Forty years later, it has yet to supplant the tainted technologies of the 19th century, like coal burning. Cancer-causing chemicals from coal generation kill thousands each year. The world’s problems have never been greater. But is this simply our destiny? Can we do nothing about this? No! Nuclear energy can easily replace the benefits fossil fuels have brought us, but without the consequences.

Efficiency

Nuclear power’s high energy density is astonishing. If a kilogram of coal and kilogram of uranium were both mined out of the earth, the coal would power a 100-watt light bulb for about four days. The uranium would power the same light bulb for 180 years. Yes, almost two centuries. Edison could’ve hooked up the first light bulb and it would still be glowing brightly. The high energy density of nuclear power makes it extremely efficient compared to any other energy source.

Safety

No Americans have ever died as a result of nuclear energy generation. Yet the level of attention that nuclear energy gets is unparalleled by any other energy source. When one minor event occurs, like the meltdown at Three Mile Island, the media crawls all over the situation, as if no other incidents take place in other energy generating industries. No one was even injured in the event. Yes, the Chernobyl disaster killed fifty-six and caused the deaths of thousands from radiation. But the power plant was built and run by a nation that probably could not build a safe microwave. What about the one hundred coal miners killed every year? So let us not judge an entire industry based on one event. Let us change our mindsets about something we don’t really understand. Let us remain open to other ideas and opinions regardless of the media’s or environmentalists’ interpretation. Let us hear the facts for ourselves. The fact that no Americans have ever died from nuclear technology proves it is perfectly safe.

The Next Generation of Nuclear Power

Though nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste that can take a few hundred thousand years to decay, this waste can be recycled because it contains 90% uranium. After chemical processing, the spent fuel can be used again in special fast reactors, alleviating concerns about storage. By using this waste again, we not only solve the problem of waste storage but also proliferation concerns because plutonium, a material used to make nuclear weapons, is burned in the fast reactor. When all the power has been extracted, the remaining waste takes only a few hundred years to decay.

In The Future

By burning coal and other fossil fuels, we have built up a society and an infrastructure that our forefathers couldn’t even dream of. But we have also caused turmoil for our natural environment. Will we continue polluting our atmosphere, lakes and streams, and realize the problem when it’s too late? Or will we rise up and confront this problem? So I ask of you to support the establishment of a cleaner, more efficient source of electricity! Nuclear energy.

Tags

Climate Change, Coal, Electricity, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Renewable Energy

Meet the author

author avatar TheReporter
Currently studying business at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Share this page

moderator Sam Wormleighton moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar raman13
25th Jun 2010 (#)

Ok ! ! ! ! This is good work

Reply to this comment

author avatar TheReporter
26th Jun 2010 (#)

Thank you raman13!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

Thought provoking but the stigma of "nuclear" is tough to erace! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar TheReporter
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

I agree. That is the problem.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password