Similarities Between Nuclear And Nuclear Energy

1116 Words 5 Pages
Nuclear energy has certainly come a long way since its introduction to the public in 1945. The world stood in shock at the revelation of the destructive capabilities of the two first nuclear weapons “Fat Man” and “Little Boy.” The actual development of nuclear energy began in the 20th century following the discovery of the elements uranium and plutonium. When the bombs were detonated these elements produced enormous sums of energy in the form of both heat and radiation; these hazardous explosions covered entire cities in an iconic mushroom smog cloud. The infamous explosive smog can be seen in Figure 1 to understand the catastrophic power of this energy release. The meticulous challenge for scientists since then has been to research how …show more content…
The first spectrum of the argument to consider is the environment. The burning of fossil fuels is the largest contribution of carbon dioxide by humans and has even increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere by 25% since the Industrial revolution. Currently 82% of the greenhouse gases that destroy the earth’s ozone layer are carbon dioxide. (Carbon Dioxide Emissions) Based on these sums it is evident how harmful the production of electricity has been on the global warming of the environment. Even so nuclear energy has it’s own downside. The nuclear reactor inside the generator gives off a very dangerous radioactive waste after the reaction of the uranium element. In Figure 3 the photograph depicts a recent photograph of actual radioactive release found in large cement containers in the city of Sellafield in the UK. The effects of radioactive fluids vary widely from a simple nausea, cancer, and even genetic mutations. This radioactive waste cannot simply be dumped in a trash can. The disposal methods depend on what degree of radioactivity the waste contains, but in general it takes years inside sealed concrete containers for the radioactive levels to drop far enough to be deemed safe.(What are nuclear wastes and how are …show more content…
Even though the largest contributor to our electricity supply is the traditional fuel burning method, the United States is the current largest producer of nuclear energy, accounting for 30% of the world nuclear energy creation. (Nuclear Power In the USA) There are 100 nuclear power plants in the United States that only spend around $7.5 billion in maintenance, while fossil fuel’s cost add up to approximately $700 billion. The price of nuclear energy is much lower, however it must be taken into account that the United States produces much less electricity from nuclear energy than from fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is only available due to government subsidies, since no private sector would invest in such a risky investment, but it is still projected that there will be 24 new nuclear reactors by 2020 (Nuclear Power in the

Related Documents