failing Nuclear energy in the United States the search for the perfect energy

How safe and useful is nuclear energy?

Nuclear energy has had a wishy washy reputation from the end of the 20th century in the 21st century, but it has been proven to be an amazing asset in the world's energy arsenal and is safer than most forms of energy for example Heather Quinlan a writer for the how stuff works website said, “nuclear energy steers clear of fossil fuels, releases less radioactivity than coal-fired power plants and is unaffected by the ups and downs of oil and gas prices. With 440 reactors worldwide, only one Chernobyl has been classified as a major accident“(Quinlan). Only one reactor out of the 440 reactors the world has created has become dangerous. Nuclear energy can in fact power a whole country like France or Sweden who have some of the world's highest outputs of nuclear energy. There are great ways for Nuclear energy to be more prevalent and useful in the united states by following in the footsteps of other countries, for example expert Heather Quinlan also stated “in 2007, 59 nuclear power plants scattered throughout the country, which is smaller than Texas, generated 78 percent of France's electricity. Among other reasons, the French have turned to nuclear power because it provides both jobs and power to a country that has little to no natural energy resources.”(Quinlan). The creation of more nuclear reactors in the united states may seem like a no brainer but there are some that may disagree with the idea of green energy.

"No one in the United States has become seriously ill or has died because of any kind of accident at a civilian nuclear power plant".

-Joe Barton

Then why has the popularity of nuclear energy dropped so recently?

The popularity of Nuclear energy has fallen recently because of major catastrophes like the fukushima plant disaster in japan. The disaster happened when the staff did not properly prepare and did not follow protocol when the tsunami hit the plant and all three of the nuclear cores melted. an example of american distaste in nuclear energy comes for a writer for the atomic bulletin, Ann Bisconti said “Gallup found 44 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed in 2016—a big drop in favorability from 2015—and headlined that, for the first time, a majority of Americans oppose nuclear energy.” This statistic is frightening for pro nuclear advocates and can have major effects on the government's nuclear legislation. The fall of nuclear energy popularity has fallen below 50% for the first time in most americans oppose nuclear energy. Ann Bisconti also said,“Public opinion about nuclear energy reflects a tradeoff people make between perceptions of need and safety concerns. In the Gallup poll, the question about support for nuclear energy is asked along with questions about environmental concerns and hazards such as air pollution and the pollution of drinking water. In this context, safety concerns likely were at the forefront.” The main reason people don't like nuclear energy is because people are afraid of the adverse effects of nuclear energy like pollution and air pollution. When in reality natural gases and coal burning power plants release a monumental amount of poisons into the air.

What has the US done to combat the closure of nuclear energy power plants?

The US government has tried its hardest to stop the closure of many nuclear energy Facilities and has in fact put money towards the construction of new facilities. The public is really the driving force that dictates the government's decisions is the public, the citizens of the united states have spoken and a majority of people disagree with nuclear energy. If the Public was educated on the matter we would see a dramatic turnaround in support of nuclear energy for example Ann Biscotti, a writer for the bulletin for the atomic scientists stated “Public opinion on nuclear energy is highly changeable and easily influenced, because most Americans do not feel well informed about the subject. The UT poll shows many people in the middle. The NEI spring 2016 survey also found a large segment of the public sitting on the fence; 26 percent strongly favored nuclear energy and 11 percent strongly opposed it, leaving almost two-thirds of the public in the middle.”(Biscotti) two thirds of the united states is uneducated about the benefits of nuclear energy and this can hurt our hopes for a greener future. Though a majority of the US public disagrees with nuclear power, a lot of the government officials have an opposing view and have tried there hardest to convince the people nuclear energy is necessary. an example of the government stepping in would be president Obama plan to implement bills to support nuclear energy. Professional reporter for the hill, Timothy Cama said “With nuclear providing the majority of carbon emissions-free electricity in the United States, utilities and suppliers in the industry say Obama’s planned 32 percent reduction in power-sector carbon is impossible if reactors keep shutting down.”(Cama) Former President Obama wanted to implement large amounts of pro nuclear legislation but was often stalled by the closure of nuclear plants. The people of the US dislike the use of nuclear energy they much prefer Wind and Solar power.

Why don't we just put more money into wind and solar power plants instead of nuclear energy?

Wind and solar power seems like the perfect way to ditch our turbulent fossil fuel gas past, but in reality our current solar and wind power is not reliable enough to power the world. Our current green energy does not have the the capability of keeping up with our energy needs so in the meantime we should invest“Wind turbines are suited to the coastal regions which receive wind throughout the year to generate power. Therefore, countries that do not have any coastal or hilly areas may not be able to take any advantage of wind power. The location of a wind power system is crucial, and one should determine the best possible location for wind turbine in order to capture as much wind as possible. Just like solar energy which relies heavily on sun to produce power, wind energy needs high speed winds to produce power on constant basis”(Rinkesh).

Glossary

Reactor- an apparatus or structure in which fissile material can be made to undergo a controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction with the consequent release of energy.

Reputation- widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic.

Catastrophes- an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.

Citations

Quinlan, H. (2010, October 06). Is nuclear power safe? Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/nuclear-power-safe.htm

Moore, Patrick. "Nuclear Power: It's Safe and Clean .." Valley News, Mar 12 2010, ProQuest Newsstand, https://search.proquest.com/docview/378728861?accountid=42214.

Credits:

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