Nuclear Energy Over Solar Power

Updated November 16, 2021

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Nuclear Energy Over Solar Power essay

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As the world is beginning to see the effects of harmful fossil fuels a new argument arises from renewable energy. Which is the ideal energy source for a smarter world, and how will society be changed by the answer? None stand out as much as nuclear and solar power. Both are semi renewable, high powered energy sources with their own methods of powering America. Yet in this age of a cleaner earth, nuclear energy is the more useful form of power production in the United States.

Nuclear power as a concept has a reputation of being dangerous and abstract. The process of a nuclear reactor is a regulated chain reaction of atoms being split. Typically, the element uranium is split by highly powered neutrons being bombarded at the atoms, splitting them. Then a chain of events unfolds as the neutrons within the uranium burst out, splitting other atoms. Neutrons present within the core are controlled, creating a stable environment for nuclear fission.

As seen in an atomic bomb, this process creates an immense amount of energy, which subsequently heats the reactors water (“How Nuclear Power Works”). As examined by the Union of Concerned Scientist “… the fission of uranium atoms releases energy that heats water to about 520 degrees Fahrenheit.” Which then is used to power the reactors generators, creating energy (“How Nuclear Power Works”). This is the typical process used in an average power plant Solar power is seen as the less dangerous of the two renewable resources.

A common argument of pro solar sources is that of nuclear energy’s controversial past. Chernobyl, the deadliest nuclear accident ever recorded, occurred after a failed experiment done under unsafe conditions. The accident claimed many lives and would affect individuals for years to come. Or Ozyorsk, another deadly meltdown caused by poor upkeep and an old facility (Cohen). Both horrific events were caused by lack of knowledge in the field, which is less of a problem today. The contrast between resources required vs gain is another common argument. This does not take in to account a power plants economic value.

While solar panel installation is an industry created by solar power, nuclear power plants create an economic boom for an area and is devastating if taken away. After a plant in Vernon, Vermont was shut down the area lost members of the community as well as professionals. A plant itself can employ between 400-700 engineers, carpenters, chemists, and a wide range of other professions. The actual construction of a plant could grow to 3,500 people. (Nuclear Energy Institute)

When comparing power output and quantity in the United States, nuclear has a larger presence. For example, a statistic calculated by the WNA states “The USA is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.” (World Nuclear Association) In the USA ten times more energy is being produced by nuclear plants than solar panels. Worldwide this equates to nuclear generation powering 14% of the planet’s needs, with some countries taking more advantage. (Cole, Godoy, Hurt)

Both use efficient methods to avoid using fossil fuels to power the ever-expanding population. Nuclear specifically, as it uses much less uranium per capita to produce that much energy. Which is displayed in Nuclear Energy’s “Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy”. “The cost of nuclear fuel (overall uranium) is 20% of the cost of energy generated” (Nuclear Energy). While the production of nonrenewable energy is slower than it is being used. As well as being an alternative to these resources reducing the harm they cause (Nuclear Energy) Nuclear science and engineering are growing fields.

The process currently used in a reactor can be refined further regarding safety and energy production. Reactors can be created using nuclear fusion rather than fission, which is an overall more efficient energy source. This cuts down on the already controlled amount of toxic waste and possibility of meltdowns. A wide range of research will need to be done to reach this goal (Nuclear Energy). A figure estimated by the NEI suggests” 23,000 jobs will be added to the nuclear field over the next five years” (Nuclear Energy Institute)

These figures will grow as the process of fusion and nuclear research is expanded upon. Even in its current state, nuclear energy remains the more efficient energy source for America. For every positive quality of solar power, nuclear leads the pack in reliability, cost efficiency, and revisablity to push the envelope of clean energy further than ever before. Solely based on the goal of creating a better, cleaner planet without sacrificing humanity’s needs.

Nuclear Energy Over Solar Power essay

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Nuclear Energy Over Solar Power. (2021, Nov 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/nuclear-energy-over-solar-power/


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