Is Nuclear Power Generation Friendly to Our Environment?

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Our planet, Earth is in crisis! The glaciers are melting, the oceans are rising and the weather system seems out of control. Are we killing our planet? Are we causing global warming by burning fossil fuels for power generation? In 1821 Michael Faraday invented the first electric motor (Bellis). Since that time, man’s appetite for electrical power has grown exponentially. World population growth, and developing nations determined to be more modern are consuming natural and electrical resources at an ever growing pace, we are putting a strain on our ecosystem that may be harming the planet’s environment beyond repair. Electrical power can be generated many ways, Coal, Natural Gas, Hydro Dams, Oil, Solar, Wind, and Nuclear are the major options. All of these choices have advantages and disadvantages regarding the impact to our environment. Considering all of the options for generating power and the implications to our environment, nuclear power may be the safe, environmentally friendly, responsible way to power our future. In 1938 a discovery was made called fission, the nucleus of a uranium atom was split by a neutron generating more than 100 million times the energy released in any chemical reaction. This discovery was made by two German scientists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Straussman.
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Unfortunately the first use of nuclear energy was not for power generation, or any other peaceful venture, it was used in the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima (Metcalf 19). Over 15 years later in 1953, Congress passed amendments to the Atomic Energy Act, which allowed for the commercial development of electric power generation using nuclear power. Within one year the United States government built and started generating power from a nuclear reactor. Arco, Idaho was the first town in the United States with its electrical requirements generated by nuclear power. During the next 24 years almost three nuclear power plants were built per year



Cited: Baird, Stephen L. "A GLOBAL NEED, a GLOBAL RESOURCE NUCLEAR POWER AND THE NEW MILLENNIUM." The Technology Teacher 1 Oct. 2004: 21. ELibrary. Moses Greely Library, Dracut. 04 July 2008. Keyword: Nuclear Power. Bellis, Mary Cravens, Gwyneth. Power to Save the World. New York: Alphred a. Knopf, 2007. 1-30. Gray, Paul E KEMENY, LESLIE. "Nuclear Powers Climate Hope." Canberra Times (Australia) 28 Jan. 2008, Final ed., sec. A: 19. Lexis Nexis. CQ Researcher. Middlesex Community College, Dracut. 7 July 2008. McWILLIAMS, DAVID Metcalf, Tom And Gena. Fueling the Future Nuclear Power. Farmington Mills: Greenhaven P, 2007. 17-98. Murawski, John Taylor, John J. "The Nuclear Power Bargain." Issues in Science and Technology 1 Apr. 2004: 41. "U.S Walker, J Samuel. A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective Three Mile Island. Berkley and Los Angeles California: The University of California P, 2004. 71-209. Wilson, Robert

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