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Free Research Paper on Nuclear Power

Free research paper sample on Nuclear Power:

Nuclear Power has always seemed to be a scary word to many Americans. When people think of nuclear power, they think of bombs and mass destruction. Nuclear power now is more than just turning a country to glass. Nuclear Power has other uses, such as powering our Warships and Submarines, as well as many of our homes. The debate over nuclear power now is whether or not it is economical or safe to use.

France has taken Nuclear Power in with open arms. Since the oil crisis in the mid 1970’s, France was in need of a source of power. France adopted Nuclear Power, building U.S. designed plants (Hecht 96). French policy makers saw only one way for France to achieve energy independence: nuclear energy, a source of energy so compact that a few pounds of fissionable uranium is all the fuel needed to run a big city for a year (Palfreman 177). Plans were drawn up to introduce the most comprehensive national nuclear energy program in history (Palfreman 177-78). Over the next 15 years France installed 56 nuclear reactors, satisfying its power needs and even exporting electricity to other European countries (Palfreman).

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Also, these plants opened up new jobs. Areas would also grow with such a huge source of power. It could spur the economy in those areas, since power supply would be very abundant.

Another Advantage to the use of Nuclear Power is that it doesn’t produce CO2 gas, which contributes to global warming. Coal-burning power plants produce large amounts of CO2 gas, which also contribute to Acid Rain (Committee 110). Since over 50 percent of the United States’ energy comes from coal-burning plants, global warming is a major issue (Committee 111).

Coal-burning plants are also more costly in ways. With natural resources declining, electrical power costs are increasing. Mining for coal is also dangerous. Miners suffer from “black lung” and are always in danger of a mine collapsing. With nuclear power, these costs would severely come down (Committee 111-13).
While nuclear energy seems to be a worthwhile investment, many oppose the use of Nuclear reactors. One of many reasons is the cost of construction.

Major deterrents for the US nuclear plant orders include high capital carrying charges, driven by construction costs and extended construction times, as well as the risk of not recovering all the construction costs (Committee 75).
Construction costs are hard to establish, with no central source and inconsistent data from several sources. Available data show a wide range of costs for US nuclear plants, with the most expensive costing three times more the least expensive in that same year of commercial operation (Committee 75).

One of the biggest problems with nuclear power is the waste that comes along with it. Nuclear waste is unsafe, and can stay radioactive for thousands of years (Committee). Also, finding places to dispose of radioactive is virtually impossible task. The public doesn’t want nuclear waste stored near them, which is the main reason public opinion looks down on Nuclear Power.

People are also are scared of nuclear power, with the Three Mile Island incident and Chernobyl. Although these were small in comparison to victims of earthquakes and hurricanes, people are scared of such an incident happening near them.

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