There are people all over the board on the issue of nuclear energy. Personally, I think it is a safe, clean energy that we should be using more of. If we begin to reprocess the fuel like France does for much of its energy, we would have less waste to worry about as well. We do need to figure out a place to store the radioactive waste permanently, however: it’s too bad Yucca Mountain fell through. You should read up on nuclear if you’re interested. Check the citations in the wiki page for more information.
I believe that nuclear energy is a good option in the transition to sustainable alternative fuel sources and will help out our economy. It is better than oil and coal, but not nearly as good as wind and solar power. Nevertheless, nuclear power is expensive, but it does not release any direct pollution. If done correctly much of the nuclear waste can be recycled and/or reused.
Although nuclear energy is greenhouse emission free, it produces radioactive waste which can never really decay. Currently the nuclear energy industry has not found a long-term solution for disposing of its waste. There is no way to absolutely be certain that the risk of a catastrophic reactor accident would be non-existent. No matter how many precautions humans take in the planning and implementation of the facilities, there will always be nature forces that can never be controlled. The results of such accidents can be devastating and effect populations at the global scale.
In addition, uranium mining endangers the health of miners and residents living near the mines. Radioactive ore waste also impacts the environment by contaminating surface and groundwater. Nuclear energy requires massive depletion of our water supply. To keep a typical 1,000 megawatt reactor cool about 476,500 gallons of water per minute must be pumped through the system. Sometimes the water is recycled back to its source -waterways- however it would contain low-level radioactivity which is harmful to aquatic life. And when the water is returned it most likely will be a temperature that the aquatic life can not live in.
Nuclear energy is not worth it with so many detrimental environmental effects. Billions of government dollars have been poured into the industry, instead this money could be used towards safe, clean and renewable energy such as wind or solar.
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