Nuclear Energy: Risks Vs. Reward Every Source Essay

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Nuclear Energy: Risks vs. Reward

Every source of energy has its own drawbacks. This is more so the case taking into consideration the recent energy source related accidents including but not limited to coal-mining mishaps, the nuclear crisis in Japan, the B.P. oil spill, etc. In this text, I will amongst other things concern myself with nuclear power and the consequences associated with the development of the same.

As I have already pointed out in the introductory section, every source of energy has a set of drawbacks. For instance, while there are a number of benefits associated with wind energy, the same also has several disadvantages. In the words of Eccleston, March and Cohen (2011), "wind farms can interfere with radar, creating a hole in radar coverage affecting aviation and national security." The author further points out that wind energy is largely unpredictable. Similarly, although hydroelectric power in the opinion of Eccleston, March and Cohen (2011) does not produce any primary pollution or waste, artificial lakes created by hydroelectric dams could trigger earthquakes as a result of the "adverse effects they have on the tectonic system." These two examples are clear indicators that no source of energy lacks a downside. With that in mind, it would be prudent to highlight the consequences of developing nuclear power.

Although nuclear energy has quite a number of distinct advantages, the same also poses several risks to not only human beings but to the environment as well. Currently, 19.9% of electricity generated in the United States according to McKinney, Schoch and Yonavjak (2012) comes from the country's 100 plus nuclear power plants.
It is important to note that some countries like France mainly generate their electricity from nuclear power. A number of countries like China and India in the opinion of Eccleston, March and Cohen (2011) are slowly but steadily developing their nuclear capacity. However, as other countries continue to explore this source of energy, other counties have halted their nuclear ambitions. Such countries include but they are not limited to Sweden which according to Eccleston, March and Cohen (2011) has succumbed to public pressure to halt its nuclear operations.

One of the key advantages of nuclear power has got to do with the ability of the same to "produce large fuel supply" (Miller and Spoolman, 2007). Indeed, a small number of installations can in this case satisfy a base load demand. For instance, as I have already pointed out elsewhere in this text, the United States has 19.9% of the entire county's electricity generated at its nuclear power plants which number just over 100 (Eccleston, March and Cohen, 2011). Secondly, nuclear energy effectively helps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which have been blamed for a number of things including global warming. Indeed, nuclear energy emits only a fifth of the total amount of carbon monoxide released by coal (Miller and Spoolman, 2007). It is also important to note that according to the authors, the multiple safety systems in place make accidents in nuclear power plants unlikely. This is collaborated by McKinney, Schoch and Yonavjak (2012) who in their own words….....

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