Nuclear Power: A Safe, Clean Source of Energy By Silas Eaton

When some hear the words nuclear power, they immediately run away. This opinion is not unsubstantiated. The nuclear accidents of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and Fukushima, Japan have often left the public to deem nuclear power as unnecessary. However, nuclear power might just be one of the tools that could save humanity from the extreme effects of climate change.

There are three main points discussed in this piece as to why nuclear power should be used more in our world’s power grids. These include the fact that nuclear power gives off no carbon emissions, nuclear power can produce more usable electricity per unit kilogram than other materials, and nuclear power materials can last for longer into the future.

First, it is well known that nuclear power gives off no carbon emissions. This function is because nuclear reactors are based on nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is the decay of fissionable material into smaller nuclei. When the atom decays, energy is released along with a neutron. These extra neutrons hit other nuclei of the fissionable material, starting the fission process over again. The energy is given off transfers heat to water, which turns into steam, and finally, that steam turns a turbine that generates electricity. In this entire process, there is no carbon or materials that have chemical potential energy using carbon involved. Thus, there will be no carbon emissions from nuclear power plants. However, some ask about what is coming out of the stacks at nuclear power plants. What is coming out is water vapor, which is naturally in clouds, so there is nothing harmful going into the air at a nuclear power plant.

Next, there is the topic of how nuclear energy produces more electricity per kilogram than other common materials for electricity production. The measurement used for measuring electricity on large scales is kilowatt hours. One kilowatt hour is the use of 1000 watts in an hour. For example, one kilogram of coal can produce eight-kilowatt hours and one kilogram of oil can produce 12-kilowatt-hours. However, one kilogram of uranium-235 can produce 24,000,000 kilowatt hours! As you can see, uranium, or other fissionable material, can produce much more kilowatt hours than many other materials that are more common.

Finally, nuclear material is a long-lasting source of energy. If one can create much more kilowatt-hours using a smaller amount of material, then a supply of the fissionable material will remain large for a longer period of time. This ability to have a large amount of material for energy production that can last for many years may allow humans to make more scientific progress and discoveries. With new discoveries, humans can potentially make our lives better.

It should not be implied that nuclear power is completely safe. The Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents caused people to die. However, these accidents and the deaths related to them may have been a result of human error and old technology, although this has not been proven. The human error and old technology often associated with these accidents are apparent in the Chernobyl accident. The human error and lying of the Soviet leaders caused many to stay in the city while a nuclear fire raged on. This was the main killer of Chernobyl, people not getting out of the city after the accident. It took 36 hours for the Soviet Leaders to evacuate the nearby town of Pripyat. This caused lethal doses of radiation to be present in those in the town. With the Chernobyl accident, the reactor had a terrible design flaw. However, that reactor was used in the 1980s, so new technologies have emerged. The Fukushima accident was not a result of a design flaw, but was caused by a tsunami, and the authorities of Japan were able to get people out before any were killed or made sick by radiation.

In conclusion, it is possible that nuclear power can be used to slow global warming and i allow us to have more electricity than ever before. Also, there is less of a chance that nuclear accidents can occur today due to more advanced technology.

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