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Nuclear Energy Essay

1317 words - 6 pages

Some may ask what nuclear energy is, the dictionary defines this as:
1. The energy released by a nuclear reaction, especially by fission or fusion.
2. Nuclear energy regarded as a source of power. Also called atomic energy
Nuclear power was first known to be researched in the early 1900's, and by the world war; it reached its greatest peak by demonstrating to the world its power to destroy. Nuclear energy can be good or bad, depending on how the person works with this material; it is used for both sides good and bad.
Scientists were unsure from the beginning of how it was possible to get energy from the material called Uranium. They were sure that with its uniqueness it would ...view middle of the document...

Nuclear waste has sometimes been called the Achilles' heel of the nuclear power industry; much of the controversy over nuclear power concentrates on the lack of a disposal system for the radioactive spent fuel that must be regularly removed from operating reactors. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and 1987 amendments, the Department of Energy, also known as DOE for short, is studying the suitability of places to store for housing in a deep underground repository for spent nuclear fuel and other highly radioactive waste. States have fought DOE's efforts on the grounds that the site is unsafe, pointing to potential activities earthquakes, volcanoes, water infiltration, underground flooding, nuclear chain reactions, and fossil fuels and mineral deposits that might encourage human intrusion in the future.
However, DOE contends that the evidence so far indicates that the places that they have chosen are likely to prove suitable and that studies of the site should continue.
The safety of geological disposal of highly radioactive waste depends highly on the characteristics of the rock formations around it from which a repository would be hollowed out. Many geological formations are believed to have remained undisturbed for millions and millions of years, it appeared technically possible to isolate radioactive materials from the environment until they decayed high enough so that the level of the radioactive material is not harmful.
Scientific confidence about the subject on the deep geologic disposal has been more difficult to apply to specific sites. Every high-level waste site that has been proposed by DOE discoveries of unacceptable flaws, such as groundwater flows or earthquake vulnerability, that could release radioactivity into the environment, this is not good for nature.
Their are both pro’s and con’s for this form of energy some of the pro’s on nuclear energy are
it gives off little pollution and as the demand for electricity goes up, the pollution produced from fossil fuels burning plants is rising towards dangerous levels. Gases, coals and oil working power plants are already responsible for half, if not more, of air pollution.
Burning coal produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. The soft coal which most of the power plants use contains sulfur. When precipitation dissolves the smoke from this coal it produces sulfuric acid, which falls to the earth as acid rain. Coal also contains radioactive material. A coal-fired power plant spews more radiation into the air than a nuclear power plant.
The world's reserves of fossil fuels are running out. The low quality, sulfurous coal which many plants use is dirtier than the coal that was previously used. Most of the 'clean' anthracite has been used up. As more 'soft coal' is used, the amount of pollution will increase. In a few decades, our fossil fuel-powered plants will...

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