Nuclear energy is a renewable source of energy that we have the knowhow and infrastructure to produce, and yes it can very easily help use relieve our dependency on oil. The problem with nuclear energy is the nuclear waste it produces cannot really be stored safely, and it doesn’t biodegrade. This, coupled with peoples fears of dangerous nuclear meltdowns, make nuclear energy not nearly as appealing as it could be. If we oculd figure out how to produce nuclear energy in a clean, safe way (which we are currently trying to do) then it could be a very valuable source of energy.
Nuclear energy could be used to generate electricity instead of burning fossil fuels such as oil for it. However, it is not a renewable resource either – it is mined from limited non-regenerating deposits in the ground, just like fossil fuel. It’s a rare resource, mined by only a few countries. US has the fourth largest deposits in the world, but, depending on the price of uranium, only a portion can be extracted profitably due to lower grade deposits here. That said, we’re the 8th largest producer in the world, but we end up purchasing over 92% of our uranium for nuclear power from other countries such as Russia, Australia, and Canada. That means we’ll still be dependent on foreign powers for fuel if we start using nuclear power more. And then there is the whole issue of toxic radioactive nuclear waste and looming fear of another Chernobyl, or at least another Three Mile Island disasters.
So yea, we could replace dependence on oil to dependence on uranium and switch carbon dioxide emissions for toxic waste.
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