Black (2005) notes that within the next decade Great Britain will be unable to meet the energy needs of its population unless nuclear power becomes part of the equation. A dependence on fossil fuel sources for electricity is no longer viable, given the limited supply of fossil fuel, the volatile market for it, and the environmental concerns associated with creating and burning fossil fuels. Nuclear power is touted as at least a temporary solution to an energy supply shortfall. Many nations in Europe including Sweden and Finland are facing similar problems and have already nodded approval to investments in nuclear technology (Anderson & Crooks 2009).
Besides safety issues, nuclear power presents possible financial risks that make the technology less than ideal. Assessing the actual costs of nuclear power processing is close to impossible (Richardson 2005). Cost is sometimes framed as being irrelevant, given the rising prices of fossil fuels and the attendant costs associated with environmental harm. Johnston (2008) claims that nuclear power "will be considerably cheaper than all the alternatives" although "marginally more expensive than gas." Nuclear power manufacturers and stakeholders pitch their product as being cost-effective for marketing purposes, to attract investors. Some sources claim that as many as 80% of all future nuclear power plants will be privately funded and not supported by national governments (Black 2005).
The future of nuclear power depends on creating viable, safe, and sustainable options for nuclear waste disposal. Chernobyl taught the world that nuclear power may be one of the deadliest options for energy generation: more so than fossil fuels considering the short- and long-term effects of radiation. Research into feasible nuclear waste management yields promising but far from perfect results. Most reports detail the realistic consequences of possible fallout including financial, social, ethical, and environmental effects (Higgins, Jones, Munday, Balmforth, Holmes, Pfuderer, Mountford, Harvey & Charnock...
However gruesome the study may be, such estimates are crucial when planning possible nuclear power proliferation.
Nuclear power offers a reasonable, although imperfect and short-term solution, to the dependence on fossil fuels for electricity. Fossil fuels are unsurpassed in terms of their ability to power the standard internal combustion engine, and fossil fuels are also used in manufacturing in ways nuclear power cannot be used. Wind, solar, and other non-polluting potential sources for electricity offer the cleanest hope for a sustainable and safe future. Until totally clean sources of energy can provide for the abundant needs of Britain and the rest of the world, nuclear power will remain a key part of the total power package.
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Higgins NA, Jones C, Munday M, Balmforth H, Holmes W, Pfuderer S, Mountford L, Harvey M, Charnock T. (2008). HPA-RPD-046 -COCO-2: a model to assess the economic impact of an accident. Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1228894710715?p=1197637096018?ebul=nuclear/dec-12&cr=03
The 'Hot' nature created by Sellafield." Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www.lakestay.co.uk/hot.htm
Johnston, R. (2008). Ten myths about nuclear power. Spiked. Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/4259/
McCarthy, John (1995). Frequently asked questions about nuclear energy. Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/nuclear-faq.html
Nuclear Power Now." Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www.nuclearnow.org/
Radiation in the Environment." Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII). Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://www.rpii.ie/radiation/index.html
Richardson, B. (2005). Nuclear power's cost conundrum. BBC. Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4457210.stm
What is nuclear reprocessing?" BBC News. 19 Feb 2000. Retrieved Feb 9, 2009 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/uk_news/647981.stm
Nuclear Power Disadvantages of nuclear energy and its comparison with other sources of energy Comparison of nuclear energy with other sources of energy Nuclear energy does have advantages over other sources of energy like fossil fuels (coal, gas etc.) because nuclear energy makes less pollution and nuclear energy supplies more power than any other source of energy. All sources of energy do have some disadvantages. Some of them are discussed here; Fossil fuel It makes
This can merely be helpful on local level but not at all on the global level. Radioactive materials in low quantities are present in fossil fuels, chiefly in coal and using them in heavy amounts can have more hazardous effects on the environment causing radioactive contamination globally. This is a much more pressing concern when compared to the radioactive contamination within a nuclear power station as the noxious waste in
Nuclear Power as a Promising Alternative Fuel for the Future The Nuclear Dilemma (World Nuclear Association) There are a plethora of reasons in which alternative fuels are becoming increasingly desirable as potential power source for everyday consumption in the future. One such reason is that fossil fuels are non-renewable resources that will eventually be exhausted in regards to the feasibility of extracting these resources. It is not necessarily that non-renewable resources will
6. What caused the Chernobyl incidents? At Chernobyl, poor reactor design and human error caused uncontrolled heating of the nuclear core that boiled off enough cooling water to allow the graphite moderator control rods to be exposed to air igniting them. That ignition spread to the radioactive rods and caused large volumes of radioactive smoke to be released into the atmosphere. 7. What is the cause of the Japan incident? In Japan, a
By regulation, the design of the nuclear reactor must include stipulations for human operator error and equipment failure. Nuclear Plants in the western world use a Defense in Depth idea which is a system with numerous safety components, each with back-up and design to accommodate human error. The components include: "Control of Radioactivity - This requires being able to control the neutron flux. If the neutron flux is decreased the radioactivity
When compared to oil Uranium is more easily accessible and there is less likelihood of any political interferences because of the locations it is mined. Nuclear power plants require far less space as compared to hydropower plants. This allows them to be placed in developed areas which in turn reduce the distance that electricity needs to be transported. Over short periods of time, the amount of electricity produced is very large