There Are No Negative Consequences to Using Nuclear Energy

There Are No Negative Consequences to Using Nuclear Energy.

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Nuclear energy is a clean grade of free energy that many countries are transitioning from. Countries like the United states, France, India, China, Due south Korea, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany have all taken steps abroad from nuclear free energy past implementing alternative sources of ability, like renewable energy. These countries are transitioning from nuclear free energy because information technology is costly, cannot keep up with the supply and need of free energy, and is not sustainable. The purpose of this research is to analyze the positive and negative effects that nuclear energy poses to come to a conclusion on whether the United States will transition to relying generally on nuclear free energy. This study seeks to persuade readers that relying on nuclear energy will not be beneficial for the United States past analyzing the facts from an economic, financial, and sustainability perspective.


These countries utilise nuclear energy because of the decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released in the atmosphere, lessening the carbon footprint humans leave on the Earth. Nuclear free energy releasees significantly lower CO2 in the atmosphere, compared to other more prevalent sources of energy like coal, oil, and natural gas. Reactors do this simply by spiting Uranium atoms (vis fission) to create heat that boils waters which then turns into steam. The steam and then turns a turbine which generates electricity. In the duration of this process, nothing is burned, so nuclear power plants release limited pollutants into the air. Unlike reactors, other forms of free energy burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas to turn h2o into steam to turn a turbine which produces energy.

Countries debate utilizing nuclear energy because a serial of bug associated with reactors including: radioactive waste, condom, weapons proliferation, terrorism, health, toll, reliability, and sustainability. For the purpose of this study, challenges associated with cost, reliability, and sustainability will be researched. Nuclear energy has advantages, some include cheap and efficient energy, but practice these advantages counter the danger and negative aspects of nuclear energy, to a betoken where a country could rely on nuclear free energy. This is the debate that nations face up every bit they are looking for another source for sustainable energy.

The Real Cost of Nuclear Energy

Some people acquaintance nuclear power plants with the words clean and affordable. However, backside the scenes of that low energy bill is something completely different. Something that if people knew, they would not consent to. Field professionals like David Ropik (professor in the Environmental Management Program of the Harvard Extension Schoolhouse) and Elisabeth Eaves (columns editor for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists), also authors of “Clean Free energy Mind Games…” and “Can North America’s …” respectfully, have come to the agreement that nuclear energy is as well expensive to finance. Reactors proved so plush to build that about one-half of the construction was carelessness during structure because the price for this free energy amounted to near nine billion dollars, which will most probable soar in the future.             Currently, nine billion dollars is a high price to have to owe or add to the national deficit in the United states of america.

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The Obama administration included more than $900 million for the nuclear energy technologies research in the 2016 fiscal year budget (Eaves 28-29). Although this is support, it is clearly not enough support because this money was but allocated for inquiry purposes. Manifestly, this is not most plenty to sustain the construction a reactor. However, a 12.5-billion-dollar loan from the United states Energy Department for advanced reactor designs toward commercialization is plenty money (Eaves 28). This would be a great for private companies designing advanced nuclear reactors, however, Since the US Energy Department is a authorities funded program, where is all the money coming from? Well, loans given to these individual companies have a high possibility of originating in the federal budget, where the money comes from tax payers’ wallets or is add to the national arrears. If this was common knowledge, will the authorities and consumers consent to the soaring cost of clean energy?

Construction of reactors will non take place without funds that require regime and consumer support. Every bit much equally information technology may seem like it, the government does non hand out coin. Especially for plush things that still have associated challenges, are expensive, and for things that may non be worth the cost.  Ropik states,  “In the United States, 29 states have adopted renewable portfolio standards requiring that a per centum of the electricity a utility sells must come from current of air, solar, hydro, and in some cases biofuels, all of which need economic back up from government policy because they tin’t compete confronting cheaper fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Only whereas renewables receive significant direct economical back up, nuclear free energy receives far less,” with proves that in most places nuclear energy is not receiving the finance it needs from the regime (1).

Contrastingly, New York and Illinois provide fiscal aid to nuclear programs in order for it to compete economically. However, these were measures taken to improve the economy by keeping jobs. It is articulate that the government neither at a federal or land level volition provide coin to build or sustain operation of reactors. Similarly, the odds consumers would agree to a full transition to nuclear energy are also slim to none. As discussed, nuclear free energy is non cost competitive with fossil fuels. Consumers would exist reluctant to agree to a source of energy that is not cheap or benign to the national economy.

Some could say that nuclear funding can be allocated through a carbon tax, similar to what countries like British Columbia, Canada, and China have. These countries accept implemented this carbon taxation to fund the construction and operation of a nuclear reactor. That might accept been possible for other countries but in the Usa information technology seems unlikely. Washington State turned down a proposed carbon tax, which would take been the first of its kind in this country. This sort of legislation slim changes of passing nether the Trump administration based on the fact that the assistants is focused on the business organization aspects of nuclear energy and seem averse to acknowledging nuclear free energy exists (Eaves 35). This can be proven past analyzing recent events, similar the The states withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Nuclear free energy could supply zero emission energy but through government policy information technology is at a disadvantage in the United states.

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Material Supply and Demand

Nuclear energy, although make clean, is not a renewable source of energy. Nuclear power utilize a broad range of rare materials. Nuclear power plants utilise uranium 233 every bit a fuel source and are built from potent rare Earth metals similar cadmium, hafnium or boron. Reactors cannot function without these rare earth elements. For example, without cadmium, hafnium, or boron, used to build the reactor core, the structure of the core could become compromised, and lead to huge safety concerns. Nuclear free energy has been around since Globe War 2, materials used to construct and fuel reactors have been or are nigh depleted. For this reason, nuclear reactors should not be the main source of energy as Derek Abbot, expert on complex systems, multidisciplinary applications of engineering and physics, and author of the enquiry paper, ‘Limits to Growth: Can Nuclear Ability Supply the World’south Needs?’ discusses.

Uranium is a relatively common element found in the World’southward crust but currently a reactors supply comes from uranium in rocks and seawater. Uranium found commonly are non easily separated from other materials, making the uranium that is hands separable, rare. This process is timely, complex, and costly. Abbot claims “The Globe Nuclear Clan conservatively projects lxxx years of economically extractable uranium at the current rate of consumption using conventional reactors” (4). Globally the world consumes fifteen terawatts(TW) of energy. The currently ability supply capacity of nuclear reactors in the world is about 375 gigawatts (GW). This is near a 15 TW difference. Through simple calculations, Abbott estimates almost 15,000 new reactors would need to exist built to run into the need of energy. Not only would these reactors need uranium as fuel they would need other exotic and rare materials for construction of these reactors.

The core of a reactor is composed of various exotic metals that are necessary to contain the heat and fission within a nuclear reaction. Each metal serves a dissimilar and necessary purpose. Abbott states “hafnium serves as a neutron absorber, beryllium every bit a neutron reflector…,” which are all necessary for the generation of power and for the safety of the population (6). Reactors are not the simply structures that utilize these rare materials. There is competition for these elements, for case, hafnium is used in microchips and beryllium are used in semiconductors.

Overemployment and depletion of these elements will lead to huge price increment. In the nuclear energy industry these metals are necessary for a reactor to safely generate electricity. At the current demand for free energy the supply rare metals will eventually exist depleted leading to an enormous cost increase. For this reason, nuclear energy cannot keep upwards with the demand for energy with the current supply of materials. Therefore, nuclear energy is not sustainable and is unable to compete with sustainable sources of free energy like solar and wind power. Speaking based on electric current operating Light Water Reactors (LWR), all problems discussed to a higher place are applicable, still, when arguments tin can exist fabricated for Generation Iv reactors.

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Proposed generation 4 reactors are the reactors of the future that could potentially solve the issues discussed in this section. Currently these reactors are unemployed because they accept withal to solve similar problems. In terms of the sustainability of uranium, almost Generation 4 reactors utilise thorium, an arable fuel source. Although it could generate centuries worth of energy, it will run into the same problem as eventually supply volition non run across the demand. In terms of construction material, the same if not more rare materials are need in Generation IV reactors because they too are subject field to fabric issues within the core.

For instance, Molten Salt Reactors use fluoride common salt to host the fission of thorium inside the cadre, which comes with challenges itself. Although the core is unpressurized (operates at atmospheric pressure) information technology is subjected to heat at nigh 1472 degrees Fahrenheit, and experiences harsh corrosiveness due to the salts. This limits a reactors life span and eventually it will more materials to rebuild its core. Generation IV reactors are subject to their own fabric and sustainability bug, so fifty-fifty those tin can not produce sustainable and undecayed energy in the U.S.

Electric Grid Supply and Demand

Caught up in the excitement of make clean free energy, the downsides of nuclear energy are overlooked, like the inability to supply power on the electric grid with power fluctuations acquired by demand. The electrical grid is a organisation of machines and lines that connect the power supply to customers. Robert Rosner and Alex Hearn, who was the former Managing director of Argonne National Laboratory and undergraduate researcher , respectively[AM10] , discuss the electric filigree fluctuations associated with nuclear ability in their article “What Role Could Nuclear Power Play in Limiting Climatic change.”

Works Cited

  1. Abbott, Derek. ‘Limits to Growth: Tin Nuclear Power Supply the Earth’due south Needs? ‘Bulletin of the Diminutive Scientists, vol. 68, no. 5, Sept. 2012, pp. 23-32. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/0096340212459124.
  2. Eaves, Elisabeth. ‘Can North America’s Advanced Nuclear Reactor Companies Help Save the Planet? ‘Bulletin of the Diminutive Scientists, vol. 73, no. 1, Jan. 2017, p. 27. EBSCOhost, doi:x.1080/00963402.2016.1265353.
  3. ROPEIK, DAVID. ‘Clean Energy Mind Games: If Policy Makers Desire to Accelerate the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy, They Should Heed the Lessons of the Decision   Sciences and Take Another Expect at Nuclear Energy.’ Issues in Scientific discipline & Technology, vol. 33, no. 4, Summer2017, pp. 59-64. EBSCOhost, h&AN=124181377&site=eds-live&telescopic=site.
  4. Rosner, Robert and Alex Hearn. ‘What Role Could Nuclear Power Play in Limiting Climatic change? ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 73, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 2-6. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00963402.2016.1264203.
  5. Saerom, Yoon, et al. ‘An Integrated Multicriteria Decision-Making Approach for Evaluating Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems for Long-Term Sustainability on the Basis of an Equilibrium Model: Technique for Gild of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution, Preference Ranking Arrangement Method for Enrichment Evaluation, and Multi-attribute Utility Theory Combined with Analytic Hierarchy Procedure.’ Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Vol 49, Issue 1, Pp 148-164 (2017), no. 1, 2017, p. 148. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.cyberspace.2016.07.009.
  6. Zinkle, S.J. and Thousand.Southward. Was. ‘Materials Challenges in Nuclear Energy.’ Acta Materialia, vol. 61, no. The Diamond Jubilee Issue, 01 Feb. 2013, pp. 735-758. EBSCOhost, doi:ten.1016/j.actamat.2012.11.004.

There Are No Negative Consequences to Using Nuclear Energy


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