Nuclear Energy: The Energy of the Future

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The Energy of the Future The United States of America is in desperate need of an alternate energy source. One such alternate source is nuclear power. Nuclear power is a form of energy produced by an atomic reaction, which is capable of producing an alternative source of electrical power, replacing the energy currently supplied by coal, gas, or oil. This will help the United States move away from burning fossil fuels and potentially reduce overall pollution. Nuclear power has the potential to be cleaner and cheaper, but the United States needs to take serious steps.
The United States has tried to use nuclear power before, and they stopped moving forward with it because of two specific issues: Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Three Mile Island was a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. It was the site of the worst nuclear power plant accident in the United States resulting in the release of small amounts of radioactive gasses into the environment. However, the long term effects were negligible. Chernobyl happened in Russia and it was much worse but was the result of a much different reactor design than is used in the U.S. After these two events, the United States has not built another nuclear reactor.
Both the opposition and supporters of nuclear power agree that the United States is in desperate need of an alternative energy source. Opponents say that nuclear waste can’t be disposed of, is unsafe, and is expensive. However, nuclear power is an extremely powerful source of electricity. In addition, the United States’ demand for electricity and power is increasing, and nuclear power eliminates harmful carbon dioxide emissions into the air. Therefore, nuclear power is an option for energy creation.
Those who are against nuclear power say the waste is incredibly hard to dispose of. Right now, the United States stores their nuclear waste in repositories in the Yucca Mountains. According to Brice Smith, a senior scientist at IEER (Institute of Energy and



Cited: Ferguson, Charles D., and Michelle M. Smith. "The Nuclear Option." Foreign Policy 170 (2009): 40+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. Makhijani, Arjun, Max Schulz, and Brice Smith. "Nuclear Power: Both Sides." The Wilson Quarterly 30.4 (2006): 59+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. Schwartz, Peter, and Spencer Reise. "Nuclear Power Is the Best Way to Address Global Warming." The Environment. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Nuclear Now!: How Clean, Green Atomic Energy Can Stop Global Warming." WIRED 13 (Feb. 2005). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2012 Union of Concerned Scientists. "Nuclear Power Is an Environmentally Unsound Way to Reduce Pollution." The Environment. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Nuclear Power and Global Warming." Union of Concerned Scientists: Position Paper. Union of Concerned Scientists, 2007. 1-4. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2012

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