Alternatives to Nuclear Energy
Risky Nuclear Energy Nuclear energy is a bargain on the short run; it is cheap, produces a lot of power, and a nuclear plant can be built virtually anywhere. The plant does not give off any carbon dioxide or sulfur, but unfortunately, the good news ends here. Nuclear Energy produces a by-product called radioactive waste, or spent fuel rods, and can be dangerously radioactive for more than four hundred human generations. Fortunately, there are alternatives that provide clean, cheap energy without the use of radioactive elements.
A newly developed power plants that runs off of spent fuel cells and geothermal power can be solutions to nuclear energy. Even though alternatives such as reused uranium and geothermal power can be solutions, they have a few drawbacks such as location and distance, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and are much safer to operate than nuclear energy. Nuclear energy makes up 20% of the United States’ electricity and provides 17% of the world’s electricity (EPA. gov, “Nuclear Power”). Although nuclear reactors do not produce greenhouse gasses, “mining and refining uranium requires large amounts of energy.
If Transatomic’s reactor is built, it would “capture 98 percent of the energy in spent fuel pellets”, “meet the nation’s energy needs for 70 years”, and makes the radioactive waste” inert within a couple of hundred years” (David Ferris). Although radiation meltdown is and other nations. Instead fuel calls lasting more than four hundred generations, it might Just last for only four. Another solution to nuclear power and oil drilling is geothermal power. Using “hot water from deep underground, geothermal energy might provide a cheaper alternative to diesel” (Loy).
Geothermal power utilizes heat from the Earth to superheat water and create enough steam to power a generator. The heated water is then fed back into the Earth to replenish the supply and continue the process. ” Power is generated similarly in nuclear and geothermal power plants. Both use heat to increase the temperature of water and then send the steam to drive a turbine. The only difference between the two is that nuclear power plants uses dangerous nonrenewable fuel while geothermal power uses the heat of the Earth, an almost inexhaustible source of energy.
Geothermal power plants have to be located next to or above specific locations with high hot springs underneath. This is a problem in some countries because it either has no hot underground reservoirs or geothermal areas are too far away from urban centers, where electricity is needed the most. Although location is a drawback, the only potential danger from a geothermal power plant is a pressure exposition from one of the income pipes or pressure tanks. In the event of a pressure exposition, the only gas released into the atmosphere is water vapor and flying debris.
It does not have the potential to spread cancer to thousands or harm more than 6 million people. An addition to clean, safe power, the plant can be hidden underground because it does not produce any emissions such as carbon dioxide or even water vapor. All the gasses are contained in the tubes and chambers, allowing the plant to be able to operate in confined areas. This can enable power plants to be built in pristine locations or urban centers without affecting the wildlife or busy traffic on the surface. Nuclear energy should not be there future of the world’s power source.
Although it is a cheaper alternative to renewable resources, it is many times more environmentally costly and can affect millions of peoples’ lives if an accident were to occur. Nuclear power has developed over the decades, but I think we should let go of this last-century source and move on to more earth-friendly alternatives. Many power companies use power from renewable sources such as solar or wind, you can help change the course of America by switching power companies or contacting your local politicians about changing our infrastructure for the better.