nuclear power and solar power

Topics: Cosmetics, Nuclear power, Energy conversion Pages: 5 (1865 words) Published: October 4, 2014
1. Nuclear power and solar power:
Goal: Which is better for people? Argue Solar power is better than Nuclear power Points:
Pollution free – production

Human beings have been using fossil fuels for hundreds of years, satisfying the demand of industrialization. The behavior of using fossil fuels, on the other hand, causes huge pollution, such as soil, water and atmosphere contamination. In addition, fossil fuels, such as solid, liquid and gas, are all facing on the exhaustion. It is evidential that the situations need to be checked or repressed. However, the solutions should satisfy the urgent requirement of energy as well. Nuclear and solar energy are two clean, practicable solutions for human beings. Because they have been tested and been put to use since the mid twentieth century. On the surface, nuclear and solar energy seem absolutely different in other aspects except for low direct pollution and practicability. In fact, they share some significant similarities while they are totally different in other aspects. This essay will concentrate on comparing and contrasting nuclear and solar energy by discussing the similarities in gas emissions, high expend in increasing efficiency and electricity price, and the differences in safety and equipments. There are numerous similarities between nuclear and solar energy. The most significant one is that they are pollution-free and have no direct emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. Both nuclear and solar energy will give a carbon dioxide saving of 1330kg for 1kw electric power per year (Bosshard, 2006). Even though they lead to indirect emission of gases, the quantity of pollutant is small and unavoidable. However, at the price of low emission, the improvement of efficiency is expensive and difficult for both. In other words, they require high expenses in material and maintenance, especially when increasing the electricity production. Furthermore, according to Bosshard (2006) and Murray (2000), low efficiency is a traditional challenge for nuclear energy to conquer as it is in the solar energy field. Nuclear plant has efficiency about 7% in collecting radioactive energy to drive dynamotors. Merely 30-40% energy can be converted into electricity power by dynamotors. Likewise, neither silicon solar cell nor compound solar cell has an average efficiency which is over 16% (Edmonds, 2007). Even thought both nuclear and solar energy have plans for increase of efficiency—fusion for nuclear energy and Thin Film Poly for solar energy—that will make a great improvement in efficiency, these techniques will not be conquer and put into application within a decade. Another common point that these two kinds of energy share together is the price of electricity. According to Thamm (2007), the price for solar energy is $0.35-$0.6 per kWh for solar cell and $0.085-$0.135 per kWh for solar thermal, while Fell (2006) claimed that the nuclear electricity price was from $0.3/kWh to $0.6/kWh; whereas, comparing to fossil fuels energy, which is merely 0.04 dollar per kilowatt-hour; hence, the expensive costs these two energies need will influence the competitive ability of worldwide market obviously. In spite of the similarities, safety is the main problem. It caused the differences of worldwide application in fund input and popularity between nuclear and solar energy. According to Duncan (2002), radioactive materials are regarded as the most basic sources for nuclear plant, which is extremely deadly pollutant. Therefore, as a solution, it will be stored in deeply in the earth with high-end and mature technology. Nuclear energy becomes one of the luxury goods for some wealthy countries. In contrast, solar energy application is much safer, such as solar cell, it can not only be built in solar station but also be applied in every aspect of daily life in both developed and developing countries. For instance, it supplies energy to homes or even playthings. Furthermore,...
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