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Nuclear energy is an efficient way to reduce the amount of CO2 in the environment. Nuclear energy saves of 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 if that same amount of energy was made from burning coal. For every 22 tonnes of uranium used in the nuclear power plant, one million tonnes of CO2 emissions isn’t put into the environment. If the world doubled its nuclear output, it would reduce CO2 emissions by about a fourth. Nuclear energy uses less than 6% of their output energy to make their nuclear power plant run. Wind power would usually cost up to two times more per kWh than nuclear power plants.

Many people fear nuclear energy. Some fear that the transportation of uranium and other radioactive substance is dangerous, but these hazardous materials are transported in containers tested to withstand drop-and-puncture, fire, and water-immersion tests. These checks make sure that the radioactive materials are safe even if the driver or train got in a harsh accident.

Others fear that technology may get in the wrong hands and allow enemy countries to make atomic bombs and nuclear weapons. All the uranium that is traded is sold for electricity manufacturing use only. The international safeguards arrangements confirm these trades. The western countries that sell the uranium do not have a single customer failing to meet requirements that the international safeguards set in place.

Some may think that uranium mines pollute the environment. Any water that is released in the mines is near/close to drinking standards. Tailings retention doesn’t usually cause pollution off site. Most countries highly regulate uranium mining, and standards in the mines make sure that no bad health effects on the miners are likely.

Much more people fear that there will be an accident in a nuclear power plant near them like the one in Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Any nuclear power plant in the west has a large containment structure, pressure vessel, and internal structures that will prevent or stop radioactivity from going into the environment and air. The World Nuclear Associations says, “Evaluations since 2001 suggest that power reactors would be well equipped to survive an impact of that kind without any significant radiological hazard locally.” All the nuclear reactors in the U.S. are much safer than those built in the Soviet Union and those built in the 1980’s.

Much of the public worries what will be done with the nuclear waste and if it is safe. Scientists are finding new ways to recycle used fuel like the plutonium gained from reprocessing is a valuable fuel which can be used with depleted uranium as mixed oxide fuel (MOX). Electricity users fund the storing, managing and transporting of wastes in all countries. Wastes are not released. The storage of the nuclear waste is safe and secure. Oil manufacturers and places where they burn coal don’t clean the atmosphere of CO2 and other gases and metals released into the air that pollute. Nuclear power plants are the only energy-producing business that takes full responsibility for taking care of most of its wastes, and puts up with the cost.

Sources: http://blackboard.wcpss.net/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=%2Fbin%2Fcommon%2Fcourse.pl%3Fcourse_id%3D_12062_1

http://blackboard.wcpss.net/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=%2Fbin%2Fcommon%2Fcourse.pl%3Fcourse_id%3D_12062_1



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