Is It Time to Revive Nuclear Power

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Peng Wu
September24, 2010
Is It Time to Revive Nuclear Power?
Today, we are facing most significant problems in our human's history, global warming and energy crisis. As a different energy source from the conventional fossil fuel, nuclear power can reduce the carbon emissions and support our energy supply. Unfortunately, nuclear energy has many problems that can’t be ignored. The issue comes up whether deploy substantive nuclear energy plants is valuable with these unsolved problems. Sequent paragraphs will summarize a “yes” article and a “no” article on this issue of deploying nuclear energy plants and give my own critiques. Professor Stephen Ansolabehere’s writing of the article “The Future of Nuclear Power” from the book “Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues(11th En.)”, edited by Thomas Easton 2006, McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning Series, Dubuque, IA, states his argument of supporting expanded use of nuclear power. Stephen states the problems come from our energy system depend on the fossil fuels can only be relieved by several options include maintain nuclear power. The increase of nuclear power is limited by four reasons: cost, which is nuclear energy has no advantage compare to the fossil fuel with no carbon tax or disposition; safety, nuclear energy is considered dangerous especially after the Three Mile Island accident; proliferation, the concern of nuclear power plants’ components are used as precursor of nuclear weapons; waste, the disposition of spent fuel will cause problems after long time. In the global growth scenario, in 2050, carbon emission will probably be 13,000 million tones, if 1000 GWe reactors of nuclear power are deployed, they can avoid 800 million tones carbon emission from gas-fired or 1800 million tones carbon emission from coal-fired. There are three representative types fuel recycle deployment, which are one through mode thermal reactors, reprocessing thermal reactors and fast reactors with a balanced...
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