Coal Energy Vs Nuclear Energy

1010 Words 4 Pages
Thesis: Our energy comes predominantly from fossil fuels because of it’s supposed inexpensiveness. However, the cost of fossil fuels in terms of human lives is often ignored. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is a much safer alternative because it results in fewer deaths per unit of energy produced than coal and natural gas. By comparing their outputs in terms of energy produced per unit of fuel consumed, and comparing that with the amount of byproducts produced as well as the amount of deaths associated with both energy sources we can analyse their relative harmfulness.

Development: The energy produced would be the amount of kilowatt hours produced per unit of fuel in a reactor. While coal is purported to be inexpensive, it releases a huge
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The paper detailed how the energy was to be analysed, and also cited many sources saying that it can be analysed, and that the results would reflect reality.
And while the efficiency in a nuclear reactor is approximately the same, the amount of energy produced is much higher. Even though the turbine technology is the same, the amount of heat in kWh produced by one kilogram of uranium is approximately 24 million compared to 8 from coal and 12 from mineral oil [4]. While these numbers aren’t precise, they give a general understanding of comparison.
How much waste is produced by Coal Fired power plants vs. Nuclear Power plants?
Each year, fossil fuels rely on a huge amount of resources to keep the power plants going. This amount of resources is not only harmful to the environment because of extraction, but also produces enormous amounts of waste currently, the total amount of crude oil consumed is 1.4 million tonnes per year, and produces 5 million tonnes of CO2, 40 thousand tonnes of So2 and 50 thousand tonnes of nitrous oxides and other particulates [1]
2 million tonnes of coal produce 6 million tonnes of CO2, 120 thousand tonnes of SO2, 25 thousand tonnes of nitrous oxides, and 300 thousand tonnes of particulates
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This contrasts to coal fired units which emit copious amounts of substances that aren’t immediately deadly, and didn’t require immediate attention when they were first created thus leading to the environmental state we’re currently in. even though it’s true that nuclear fallout can be a serious problem, many reactors have several containment precautions. Even the incident at Three Mile Island which scared a nation into halting production of nuclear energy was mostly contained, and there have been no identifiable negative health effects [9].
Even considering the amount of current deaths because of both nuclear and fossil fuels, studies show that the amount of energy being produced by nuclear power instead of fossil fuels has actually saved tens of thousands of lives. The study estimated that for each terawatt hour of electricity produced, an average of 26.67 lives are lost whereas a terawatt hour of nuclear electricity kills an average of 0.074 people (stats relevant for Europe)

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