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As the world’s population increases and there is continued comparison to the current western European, Japanese, and North American living standards, there is likely to be demand for more electrical power. Energy sources available in the world include coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, and gas. In addition, fusion had been originally proposed as the long-term source.

Every form of energy generation has advantages and disadvantages as shown in the table below.

Source

Advantages

Disadvantages

Nuclear
  • Fuel is inexpensive
  • Energy generation is the most concentrated source
  • Waste is more compact than any source
  • Extensive scientific basis for the cycle
  • Easy to transport as new fuel
  • No greenhouse or acid rain effects
  • Requires larger capital cost because of emergency, containment, radioactive waste and storage systems
  • Requires resolution of the long-term high level waste storage issue in most countries
  • Potential nuclear proliferation issue
Coal
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to recover (in U.S. and Russia)
  • Requires expensive air pollution controls (e.g. mercury, sulfur dioxide)
  • Significant contributor to acid rain and global warming
  • Requires extensive transportation system
Hydroelectric
  • Very inexpensive once dam is built
  • Government has invested heavily in building dams, particularly in the Western U.S.
  • Very limited source since depends on water elevation
  • Many dams available are currently exist (not much of a future source[depends on country])
  • Dam collapse usually leads to loss of life
  • Dams have affected fish (e.g. salmon runs)
  • Environmental damage for areas flooded (backed up) and downstream
Gas / Oil
  • Good distribution system for current use levels
  • Easy to obtain (sometimes)
  • Better as space heating energy source
  • Very limited availability as shown by shortages during winters several years ago
  • Could be major contributor to global warming
  • Very expensive for energy generation
  • Large price swings with supply and demand
  • Liquified Natural Gas storage facilities and gas transmission systems have met opposition from environmentalists.
 

CONCLUSION:

Throughout the world, we need every energy source we can getincluding NUCLEAR. As one can see from the table above, all energy sources have BOTH advantages AND disadvantages. Nuclear has a number of advantages that warrant its use as one of the many methods of supplying an energy-demanding world. Even with conservation efforts, energy demand has been and will continue to increase. Other factors can accelerate that increase, e.g. the proposed shift to electric cars to meet environmental air quality goals. In using each and every one of these forms of energy production, we need to make sure we conserve as much as we can so we leave sources for future generations. Energy suppliers need to ensure that they do not contribute to short and long-term environmental problems. Governments need to ensure energy is generated safely to that neither people nor the environment are harmed.

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5 Comments

  1. Is the hazard of climate change greater than that posed by a nuclear disaster?

  2. Nuclear power, I’d say is the universal remedy to the ever growing energy demands. Non-renewable energy is depleting at an alarming rate and renewable energy can barely produce a fraction of the energy demands worldwide. Nuclear energy on the other hand is environmentally-green and is capable of producing adequate power.
    Well, here are some interesting food for thought:
    1.One Nuclear Power Plant produces 1000 megawatts per hour. You would need 60,000 acres and 2400 to 2800 wind turbines to equal 1,000 megawatts.
    2.One nuclear fuel pellet the size of a pencil’s eraser produces about the same amount of energy as burning 1 ton of coal, 150 gallons of oil or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.
    3.Nuclear energy has virtually none greenhouse gases emission and therefore isn’t warming the planet and causing global warming like some other energy sources.

    Ref:
    http://www.our-energy.com/energy_facts/nuclear_energy_facts.html
    http://deregulatetheatom.com/2011/03/nuclear-power-compared-to-other-sources/

  3. What is difference between atomic and nuclear power plants?

    • Hye nora!!!

      For voyages of a satellite that have to last for years (if it is beyond solar panel range) then a radioactive substance is used to produce a steady (well slowly diminishing) source of heat which can create electricity by using thermocouples.
      This might be considered an atomic power source. [But maybe not commonly!]

      A Nuclear power plant, much more common, uses the disintegration of the free neutron to generate heat, and to produce more neutrons in the parent material.
      A free neutron has a half life of a few minutes, and if we slow it down in a ‘moderator’, then the chance of more reactions is increased.
      This is of course is nuclear fission. Or otherwise a nuclear power plant.

      The distinction you draw may not be common.

      • yeah!! thank you sha for your opinion~~
        its right at all…

        nice knowing u guys…
        please drop your little time at here frequently!!
        thank you


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