Nuclear power is a controversial power source, some think it is dangerous and just as bad as fossil fuels, others think that it is the gateway to becoming carbon neutral. As of right now, nuclear energy is the power source of 20% of the USA’s power. With so much of our power coming from nuclear energy, many wonder if it is truly the answer to our energy crisis.
Nuclear energy is produced by heating up cylindrical tubes of uranium, specifically uranium 235 and 238 with other elements which causes the unstable atoms to fling neutrons at other atoms, splitting them and releasing energy. This energy comes in the form of heat. This heat boils water which creates high pressure steam which is used to turn a turbine which then uses a generator to produce electricity. The process requires a large amount of water that is condensed and put through a boiler and then through a cooler which is the large cylindrical towers you see on the reactors.
There are many misconceptions concerning nuclear power. Many believe that nuclear power is unsafe and is a risk to communities. In fact nuclear is the safest, cleanest and most efficient energy source there is! Though there have been several devastating accidents. Outside of those, nuclear power is incredibly safe. You would get a stronger dose of ionizing radiation by going on a plane or getting an x-ray. Many say that the nuclear waste produced by nuclear energy is cancer inducing and dangerous. And while it is dangerous it is held in containers and buried deep underground where even a massive earthquake could break the seal. They were designed to keep everyone safe and they will keep the nuclear waste safe for hundreds of years. With new nuclear technology being developed, new types of reactors like thorium or uranium 233 reactors are being made which are much more efficient and incredibly safe. New technology can even be used to turn the leftover nuclear waste into even more energy.
Most of the population believes Nuclear Energy is unsafe just because it has the word Nuclear in it. Although an engineer stated that “It is a clean power source especially fusion energy although there are some concerns with fission energy that should be taken care of.” Nuclear energy, as said before, can be safe and also a bit dangerous depending on what type of Nuclear Energy you are using. It also depends on what your town/city location is because some reasuores can be easier to get in some locations than others. All in all an interview said“Nuclear energy is a good source and should be considered for most needs. Although it depends on your financial situation and environment.”So Nuclear energy is safe and good depending on your current situation.
While many people think that Nuclear Energy is harmful and dangerous, it’s actually the most helpful form of energy and provides energy to jobs across the US. Nuclear energy is the largest source of clean energy in the US and avoids a lot of carbon each year. Nuclear power plants run 24/7 and were made to run for a long period of time and are only needed to refuel every 1-2 years. Nuclear power plants also require less maintenance than other forms of energy sources. Since people are starting to believe that nuclear energy is not safe, it’s funding has decrease a lot and the nuclear energy industry is struggling to stay alive with little funding.