Ways to make energy are running out fast! Resources like coal, oil and natural gas, which are our main suppliers of energy, are non-renewable, meaning one day they will be gone and we won't be able to get them back. So we must start looking to better, renewable alternatives. In this week's Y-Connect I'll be looking at one of the ways our governments have considered, nuclear power.
Nuclear power is caused by nuclear reactions which create energy. There are currently 441 nuclear generators in the world, 104 in the United States and 10 in the United Kingdom.
In favor of Nuclear Energy:
So what's all the fuss about? Why are some of our governments so keen to build more. Well, as I said above we need to seek new ways to find energy that can be turned into electricity. Those in favor of nuclear energy say that it is powerful and cheap to run. They also argue that nuclear power is a non-polluting energy source and will thus help to cut CO2 emissions. At the moment, 20 percent of Britain's energy and 4 percent of it's electricity is provided by nuclear energy. This goes up a lot though, ranging to 75 percent in France and a whopping 85 percent in Lithuania.
They also argue that people are more concerned about something terrible happening like a nuclear meltdown than something more boring such as global warming or climate change. One of the main nuclear power company released a statement earlier this year saying that the newer nuclear power stations were a lot safer and cost-effective than the ones made 20 or 30 years ago.
Against Nuclear Energy:
Those against nuclear energy believe that it is definitely not the best way to combat climate change. Nuclear energy may not pollute when running but the amount of CO2 emissions given off while building the reactors will mean only a cut of 4 percent in CO2 emissions. British opponents have said that concentrating on nuclear energy will mean that there is not enough money for other sources of energy such as hydroelectric, waves and wind. They also argue that most CO2 emissions are given off by cars and there is no way to put nuclear energy in cars, is there?
There is also the problem with nuclear waste. A recent statement released said that it would cost 70 billion pounds ($133 billion) to clear up nuclear waste. And where is this waste going to go? Especially when one particle of plutonium can cause fatal lung cancer. Check out Outgoing's article, "Danger in Yucca Mountain" (Article Id = 4539) to see what problems nuclear power has caused a bunch of Native Americans.
Every day, trains filled with highly radioactive nuclear waste run through main towns and cities all over the world. A terrorist attack on one of these trains could cause a large city to be evacuated. One newspaper reported that a map with England's nuclear power plants on was found in a car connected with the London July 7th bombings. There is also the possible threat of a meltdown. The Chernobyl disaster caused quarter of a million cancers and 100,000 fatal cancers to date.
Those for nuclear power argue that this can be avoided with the proper precautions. Proper security and maintenance of power plants can mean that there is no risk of an accident or a terrorist attack. Alex Kirby, a reporter from the BBC was noted saying "Most of us worry far more about something that we see as very unlikely but grotesquely horrible than we do about what we perceive as far likelier but much more mundane.???
So what do you think Whyvillians? Should we disdain nuclear power as dangerous and expensive and look into other sources of energy? Or is nuclear power the best way to combat climate change and the solution to our energy woes?
Is nuclear energy really worth it?
This is Cobd...
BBC News: Nuclear Power