Essay about Nuclear Power And Nuclear Energy

1303 Words Aug 18th, 2014 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 energy sources such as nuclear energy should be reassessed. Specifically, research on the technical, environmental, and economic viability of various forms of new generations of nuclear reactors capable of completely transmuting all its fuel and utilizing spent fuel rods should be a priority.

The statement that nuclear energy in operation produces less greenhouse gases (GHG) than fossil fuels may seem to be a redundant one considering that in the nuclear fission process combustion does not occur. A review of the available literature shows that many papers have been written calculating the total GHG emissions over the life span of current nuclear reactors from processing of the ore to construction of the facility. A…

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