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Is there an alternative to Nuclear Power?

Discussion
Oct 3, 2010
by: LindaF

Right now the debacle over funding the development of nuclear plants vs solar/wind power alternatives pursues across the nation. If we build more nuclear plants now, then it’s going to have a lasting effect on the generations to come, for they’ll need to house, and expose of all the waste created. It’s also important to consider the lasting effect of our actions now. We could build more plants, but if we work on environmentally safe systems of generating energy in addition to building nuclear plants, then our time will be better spent.

building nuclear reactors is a long, difficult and expensive process, the combination of which makes nuclear power an impractical near-term solution.”-Chris Raphael

Creating alternatives to nuclear power will pay off as the population steadily grows, and we can then substitute the nuclear plants for power that isn’t fossil fuel based, and eventually cut back on greenhouse gases emitted by the growing number of inhabitants on this earth.

“A new generation of nuclear power stations can be built only with government money: the private sector won't carry the risk. It would take at least 10 years, and it would cost tens or possibly hundreds of billions of pounds. The government will not spend this money twice: it will either invest massively in nuclear generation or invest massively in energy-saving and alternative power. The Rocky Mountain Institute has shown that you can save seven times as much carbon through electricity efficiencies as you can by investing in nuclear. And you kill no one. There'd be plenty of change too for a research programme to develop cheaper solar cells, with which, in time, almost every building in Britain could be roofed.” There Is an Alternative to Nuclear Energy- George Monbiot

To me the issue relies on whether we’d prefer to solve a problem temporarily, or long term.

Additionally the United States is simply enabling themselves as benefactors of the world’s natural resources, and it’s entirely disproportionate to the rest of the worlds’. The U.S. is guzzling fuel, destroying our environment, and declaring solar energy and wind power impractical as the base source of energy for the country.

“Nuclear is the only viable substitute for coal”- Washington Post opinion piece by Patrick Moore

“...So wave the “green” flag if you like, but we’re not going to save the planet with experiments in renewable energy. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is proven, reliable and ready for construction. It remains the only alternative energy source that does not rely on the vagaries of local weather or geology to function.”-Chris Raphael

It’s true that currently our population is expanding rapidly, however, we still don’t have the greatest number of people in our Nation, and thus have no excuse to be using all these resources ourselves. If every other developing country can get by with less energy spent per person daily, then there’s the primary problem, the amount of energy that the we, the United States, uses.

 


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Sources:
http://blogs.discovery.com/good_idea/2008/01/should-we-build.html
http://www.grist.org/candidate_chart_08.html -chart
http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_1_nuclear_power.html
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1926

 

Comments

Linda, This is debate that

Submitted by maxbrennan93 on Sun, 2010-10-10 22:34.

Linda,

This is debate that has been going on for a while now and it is good to hear both sides of this important issue. In my own opinion, I believe that it would be wise for us to begin orienting our focus towards more environmental forms of energy (i.e. wind, solar, etc). I do agree with your statement about how "Creating alternatives to nuclear power will pay off as the population steadily grows, and we can then substitute the nuclear plants for power that isn’t fossil fuel based, and eventually cut back on greenhouse gases...". The biproducts of nuclear power are indeed dangerous to the earth and everything living on it so it makes logical sense to think of the long term effects. With environmentally friendly froms of energy, an alternate to nuclear power, it increases the chance for a safer environment.

I enjoyed reading your article and learning more about this issue.

Max B