Argumentative Essay On Nuclear Energy

1303 Words 6 Pages
The use of nuclear power to generate electricity in the United States has generated 69,700 tons of uranium waste to date with an additional 2,200 tons of spent uranium produced each year. Current and future spent rods are stored on-site at nuclear facilities in pools and dry casks awaiting a national consensus on a permanent storage facility. Due to the technical limitations of the first commercial power (Generation II) reactors which all current commercial nuclear plants use, the term 'spent ' rod is a misnomer because up to 95% of the original uranium is still present and recoverable.

As concerns about the effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels on the global climate are becoming alarmingly clear to the general populace, carbon-neutral
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History has shown these claims to be highly exaggerated. Early developments in Generation III fast breeder reactors (FBR) were spurred on by the belief that sources of uranium ore were fairly limited and used fuel rods would have to be recycled, but uranium’s scarcity would later be disproven. This lead to doubts about the economic viability of FBR’s by many in the energy business and government that still continue to this day. There is also a belief that funds would be better spent on research and development of renewable energy resources and energy conservation. Public opposition in the United States to nuclear energy grew in the 1970’s and 1980’s especially after the partial melt down of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Facility in 1979. The discovery of contamination at various sites throughout the country from the 1940’s Manhattan Project and Cold War weapons production has also plagued the image of nuclear power. These concerns were further exacerbated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the USSR and continue to this day after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear …show more content…
Of these resources the combustion of coal is of particular concern because 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from it. The air pollution from this power source, according to a 2008 World Health Organization study shortens the lives of one million people worldwide annually. There are technologies used to lessen the pollutants, but this process is costly. According to a 2014 study by the United States Energy Information Administration the 2019 projected costs per megawatt hour (MWh) for conventional coal (CC) is 95.6 $/MWh, cleaner integrated coal-gasification combined cycle IGCC is 115.9 $/MWh, IGCC with carbon sequestration is 147.4 $/MWh and the cost of advanced nuclear is 96.1 $/MWh. Our current nuclear power plants which don’t generate toxic air pollutants or GHG are priced just slightly higher than conventional coal usage. The projected costs of electricity from the next generation of nuclear power reactors is yet to be

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