Commercial nuclear energy in the United States

Published: 2018-04-04 13:28:56
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Wesleyan University
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American’s Reaction in the Advent of Commercial Nuclear Energy

Commissioning of commercial nuclear energy in the United States in the early 1990s resulted to various controversies over the issue. Some people argued that commercialization of nuclear power would be beneficial both to the people and the country as well but others strongly disagreed with the potential benefits that nuclear energy would bring. This paper discusses the various reactions by the Americans on the issue of commercializing the nuclear energy. Those supporting the issue of commercializing nuclear power urged that nuclear power is a sustainable source of energy that has possibilities of reducing carbon emissions and increases the security of energy, especially if its supplants usage is depended on the imported fuels. According to the proponents of nuclear energy, it is not associated with any air pollution compared to fossil fuel, and thus it is the only viable source to attain energy independence in most of the western countries including the US. Moreover, the safety operation record of the west and the new technological reactors have the potential of minimizing the risk of storing waste.

On the other hand, the issue of commercializing nuclear energy faces opposition from various people in the US stating that it poses various dangers to the people as well as the environment. Such threats indicated include health risk and environmental hazards from the uranium mining, transportation, processing, sabotage risks of the nuclear weapons as well as the uncontrolled issue of radioactive nuclear waste. Moreover, the opponents argue that the reactors are complex machines that are viable to breakdowns thus resulting in nuclear accidents. Their stand is that these risks cannot be reduced by the new nuclear technology in that the whole process of nuclear fuel chain is not a source of low-cost electricity.

Today most economies in the world generate their electric from non-hydro renewable energy rather than the nuclear energy as a result of gradual development in China. In addition, a solar power which is a new power generation source has composed of 33% of world economies followed by wind energy with 17% and then the nuclear power by 1.3%.

sheldon

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