Nuclear Energy: an Alternative to Fossil Fuels

In: Science

Submitted By sharkie14
Words 2609
Pages 11
Introduction
Our dependence on electricity has increased dramatically since its discovery. The amount that we depend on electricity in day-to-day life is unlikely to go down in the future. The Industrial Revolution provided us many technologies that required the burning of fossil fuels to work properly. Today, most of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels. Whether it is coal, oil, or natural gas, these fossil fuels are burned to help produce electricity for our use. The burning of fossil fuels can have detrimental effects on our environment. Greenhouse gases and other air pollutants are released from the burning of fossil fuels. Additionally, the continued use of fossil fuels will eventually deplete its supplies. In the interest of preserving the environment and maintaining the supply of fossil fuels throughout the world, we must look for alternative methods that will provide us the electricity that we are so dependent on.
A Fossil Fuel Alternative
Nuclear energy is perhaps one of the most economical and reliable sources of energy in the United States and probably the world. Out of all the forms of energy, it has the least environmental impact – air, land, and water – if handled properly. Nuclear power plants do not emit harmful gases, like nitrogen oxide or any other greenhouse gas. Various forms of wildlife and even endangered species are able to thrive around nuclear power plants because neither the cooling water that is discharged from the plant nor the emissions contain pollutants that are harmful to the environment. Also, nuclear power plants can produce large amounts of energy in a smaller space, so they require less land for sitting and operation. The fission of one ton of uranium can produce up to 44 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity; it would take burning over 20,000 tons of coal to produce the same amount of electricity…...

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