Nuclear Power Plants


Nuclear Power Plants Essay, Research Paper

Chem. Com. Project

Lynsey Boggess

Nuclear Power has its advantages and disadvantages. However it is a lot safer than most people think. The chances of a meltdown or a radiation leak are extremely small. There are many safety features, which make nuclear power one of the safest electricity sources. And every nuclear power plant is protected with thick layers of steel and concrete. Nuclear power is also very environmentally friendly. It produces hardly any air pollution, and it releases less radiation into the atmosphere than coal-burning power plants.

What is nuclear Power? Nuclear energy was first used in 1956. It is the result of nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is the process in which atoms are split and energy is released. When they split, and the atoms are unstable, they become radioactive. The fission occurs when a radioactive particle hits the nucleus of another atom. When the nucleus of the second atom splits, it gives off heat. This nuclear energy can be used to boil water, and give off steam. This steam can be used to power turbines and electric generators.

Although a lot of people think nuclear waste is a problem, there are ways that this waste can be safely disposed of. The nuclear power plants have a lot less waste than coal-burning plants and most of it is classed as a low-level of radioactivity. Transportation of waste is also not a problem, because there are only small amounts of waste that need to be transported. They usually transport them in indestructible containers. The production of electricity by nuclear plants is very reliable. It is not affected by oil embargoes or industrial action.

Some advantages of nuclear energy are; that it provides adequate heat, it efficiently produces large amounts of electricity (about 1000MW of electricity per day.) Also nuclear plants don?t pollute the atmosphere. Since nothing is burned, the air is free of soot, carbon dioxide and other by-products of conventional fuel burning. Also, nuclear power uses a very small amount of the Earth?s resources.

Nuclear fuel is also very inexpensive, the energy that is generated is the most concentrated source and the waste is more compact than any other source. There is also extensive scientific basis for the cycle, and the fuel is easy to transport as new fuel. With nuclear fuel there is no greenhouse or acid rain effects.

However, there are also disadvantages to Nuclear Power Plants. Nuclear Power Plants use uranium, one of the rarest elements in nature. Uranium is a NON-renewable source. Nuclear power plants are also very expensive to build. There is also danger if steam explosions from the failures in the cooling systems, this is a potential hazard. Also, too much exposure to the radiation can be fatal or cause cancer. And Nuclear wastes although small amounts are still radioactive and dangerous.

Nuclear Power Plants require larger capital cost because of emergency, containment, and radioactive waste and storage systems. Nuclear Power plants require resolution of the long-term high-level waste storage issue in most countries. Nuclear power plants are also Potential nuclear proliferation issues.

Every form of Energy generation has its advantages and disadvantages. It is also the government?s job to ensure that the energy that is being generated is done safely so the people and the environment are safe. Nuclear plants are safe and reliable. They have few disadvantages: radiation leaks, nuclear waste, and the chance of a meltdown. They are also less likely to cause deaths than coal burning plants. However, to ensure that energy resources will be around for future generations we need to take action.

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