Sat Essay

Submitted By sam9797
Words: 1081
Pages: 5

Sam Hahner
AP English II
Nuclear Power: The Solution When people think of nuclear power, they think of something dangerous and unnatural, something that must not be tampered with, lest we go too far and kill or harm innocent humans. This dangerous reputation is not well supported, and much evidence exists that not only supports it as safe, but as the solution to the US’s energy crisis. Reserves of oil are running out, while demand will only increase rapidly. Fuel for nuclear power is plentiful. Many more people die of coal mining than nuclear power related incidents. Other “clean” options like wind and solar cannot produce nearly enough energy to power the country. Current fossil fuel dependence is responsible for climate change due to its greenhouse gas emissions, while nuclear emits almost none. Depending more on nuclear power would also help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign fuel, making economic sense. Nuclear is the best solution to the US’s energy needs because of its viability and fuel supply, environmental benefits, safety, economic sense, and energy production compared to other sources. Nuclear power has become an extremely viable energy source, being the only non-greenhouse-gas-emitting power source capable of effectively replacing fossil fuels and satisfying the growing demand of the US’s population. This fuel is expected to be available for multiple centuries (Ritch 69). Also, nuclear “waste” contains uranium that can be re-used in power plants, and plutonium that can be used in specialized nuclear power plants Reprocessing techniques are expected to become more advanced and efficient as time goes on and technology improves. These recycling methods combined with the vast supply of fuel already available in the world make nuclear power an obvious energy source to depend upon. This solves the problem presented by very limited fossil fuel supplies that the US currently depends on. There are also many environmental benefits of nuclear power that will help to solve the problems of climate change and waste production. The actual amount of waste produced by nuclear is miniscule. Electricity generation by nuclear power emits almost no greenhouse gasses. Those who oppose the move towards nuclear power often claim that nuclear waste uses too many resources to safely store it, but this is not true. It can be re-used to reduce the amount that is needed to be stored. Nuclear power obviously could solve the environmental problems created by other power sources. Nuclear power was once portrayed as peaceful, clean, safe, cheap and abundant. Ironically, safety is considered one of the main issues with increasing the use of nuclear power, with those opposing this increase reminding of the well-known Chernobyl disaster. But these worries are not necessary, as here in North America, no one has ever been harmed in the entire history of civilian nuclear power generation. Chernobyl’s plant was badly designed, constructed, and maintained, and was nothing like that of US nuclear power plants. Safety elements continue to vastly improve, and regulations are tightly followed and enforced. Another event commonly considered “catastrophic” is the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US. This should be viewed as more of a success story that attests to the safety technologies in place. No negative health effects occurred as a result of the incident and the plant was brought under control. Also, people fear the danger of storing or transporting the radioactive waste, however, the US is equipped to handle this waste. This radioactive waste has been stored without any real problems the entire time it has been stored. Another issue with nuclear power is the risk of the dangerous fuel of a nuclear reactor falling into the hands of terrorists or enemies. Security at these plants is extremely tight, as there has never been a successful theft. With that said, the US does need to keep its security and safety