Together nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams provide about 50% of the power generated for the United States doing so in a clean and efficient manner. Both systems have their ups and down, radiation and disrupting ecosystems for example, but their benefits far outweigh the small risks and problems they create. We have progressed in leaps and bounds in power development making these two much safer and efficient than most other ways to generate electricity.
Hydroelectric dams create a substantial amount of efficient clean power using a renewable resource. Because water is used to generate the power there are no emissions of greenhouse gases to pollute the environment. Running out of water is also not a problem seeing as we would have much bigger problems on our hands if such a thing happened. Dams also do good for the community as well, creating recreational areas, providing a tourist attraction, and controlling flooding. Hydroelectric dams are also not very complex often going years without needing repairs, and if they do the parts are all simple and can be replaced at low cost and quickly. There are so many positives to the dams that it is very easy to look overt the small amount of negative effects they have on us.
Though hydroelectric dams have many positive effects on society there are some problems that come with it as well. Tough hydroelectric dams seem to be environmentally friendly, they can gravely damage a fragile ecosystem killing off certain types of fish that in turn effect everything else in the area. Creating a dam can also mean flooding hundreds of square miles of valley and scenic areas forcing animals and plants to either die or move. Plant decay caused downstream can also produce as many greenhouse gases as some other ways of generating electricity though not all. Even with their simple design dams have a very high initial cost but also create many jobs in the process. There are consequences with almost every way to generate power...
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