Nuclear Power


Nuclear power is a controversial political issue. On one end of the playing field are people who support nuclear energy because of low emissions, cheap electricity, and less reliance on foreign oil. The opposition believes that the nuclear waste, expensive building costs, and the threat of a meltdown are all huge negatives of nuclear power.


Joanna Burgess in her article on nuclear power points out the many pros and cons.  The pro dealing with the environment is that there are no emissions. It turns out that the "smoke" coming out of the silos is just water vapor. However, the process of mining and transporting uranium is not very environmentally friendly. Joanna also states that while the process of generating electricity for nuclear power plants is cheaper than other methods the costs of building nuclear power plants is very high and might not pay for itself. Lately, it seems as though the cons have started to outweigh the pros because our country has been moving away from nuclear energy. The article notes that there haven't been any new nuclear power plants since the 70s.


To me this seems a little short sighted. The scientific community is on to something good here. They have found an energy source that is efficient, cheap to produce, and has zero emissions. It is my belief that instead of moving government money away from nuclear into other clean energy that is unproven and inefficient we should be investing in research to smooth the wrinkles involved with nuclear energy.  Personally it seems easier to make nuclear power plants and nuclear waste safer than it is to create an efficient solar cell or some other alternative energy source. Sometimes the political rhetoric gets in the way of scientific facts. It's easier to sell the public on things like solar panels and windmills than silos that emit "smoke" and have melted down in the past. Also, doesn't this seem similar to the voices of a few people in the media making noise about vaccines being dangerous from class? I'm sure there have been other times when the scientists don't get heard.


I think the big thing that is shying the government away from continuing to build nuclear power plants is simply that the pros outweigh the cons . Nuclear waste is very hard to get rid of, as it lasts for hundreds of thousands of years. It is difficult for the government to convince states to allow for nuclear waste storage, which could possibly contaminate local water supplies. Nuclear plants are also a major liability considering the potential harm that could come if it fails. The long term health ramifications of nuclear and coal power on the workers is enough to convince the government to go for safer options. While I definitely agree that nuclear power is a clean, effective way to generate power, the costs outweigh the gains for building new reactors.

I think nuclear power is a good way to produce power but I think there are alot of better ways to produce clean renewable energy. Solar and Wind energy both have the potential to power alot of america. In a recent article on it says that wind energy has the potential to produce 25% of the energy we need. Wind turbines also have zero harmful bi products. Solar energy is the same way no harm is done by taking advantage of these everyday occurrences. They are both never ending and renewable so I think we should build more of them before nuclear power plants. If the wind isnt blowing and the sun is not shinning then we have alot more to worry about then energy.

For me the big question is that if people are willing to try to make other forms of alternative energy more efficient by devoting time and money why are we so afraid if improving the faults of nuclear energy. the cons of nuclear energy have nothing to do with its ability to be an effective fuel source.

Remember when Andrew talked about how a few crazy stories about their reactions to certain vaccines swayed a large group of people from taking it themselves? The same applies here, as long as there are people still afraid of the potential disastrous threats these plants can pose, no one is gonna let this become a major supplier of our energy.

While nuclear power would be a better alternative to fossil fuels I would have to agree that the con of producing radioactive waste is a major negative effect of nuclear power. It would be much more beneficial for our species and our entire planet if we could instead harness solar and wind power. If there was a way to perhaps safely remove the waste from the planet then maybe it would be the better and easier alternative.

I am in full support of nuclear power being used and more widespread. The risks of using it at this point are very low, and would only get lower if we were to put more focus on it. Wind power and solar power are great in theory, but tend to take up a lot of space for not quite so much energy production. I definitely think all three of these options could be very good for the world if we were to put more funds into making them useable, but to me nuclear energy seems like the best option. Solar energy and wind energy are much lower risk, but maybe in the short term we could begin using nuclear energy up until a time where solar and wind are more sensible, harness-able options.

exactly, it seems to me that nuclear energy is the stepping stone between fossil fuels and the popular alternative energy options like wind and solar. Also, nobody is talking about the benefits that would come from decreasing our dependency on foreign oil. It looks like the pros of nuclear energy are starting to add up.

The debate on nuclear energy is probably one of the single most frustrating things to me in today's political environment. Nuclear energy is seemingly forever blackened by disasters like the accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and most recently, Fukushima. Yet for all its negative publicity, nuclear energy remains one of the safest alternative energy sources available to mankind today. What's amazing to me is that so many people don't know that nuclear energy is actually a renewable energy source! A large portion of the used fuel still contains much of its original energy content, and so it can be reprocessed and used again!

yeah I would have to agree with you Jacob. It is like when people are afraid to fly, but not to drive a car. The problem is you are more likely to die in a car and not a airplane. I think that nuclear energy is just one of those irrational fears that people will always have. It is understandable because the technology can be used to make bombs and there has been multiple meltdowns in the past.

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