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Should national energy policy in the US focus on building more nuclear power plants - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Subject Date Introduction The passage of the U.S. Energy Policy Act in 2005 is one of the cornerstones of the nuclear energy (Herbst and Hopley 4). The Policy consists of wide range of energy related issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy tax incentives, and climate change technology and so on…
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Should national energy policy in the US focus on building more nuclear power plants
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Download file to see previous pages Due to the growing issue of safety and security globally, many terrorist organizations are trying to access nuclear facilities for endangering the security of the United States. Internally, the existing nuclear reactors in U.S. will experience change in their design as they have received 20 year operating license extensions (Blatt 228). Nuclear disposal management poses a severe challenge for the authorities as well. The problem of highly radioactive waste disposal and storage has adopted a controversial aspect. Consequently, it is more feasible to use alternative energy resources such as biomass, wind energy, ethanol, and other resources. In the subsequent part of this research paper, first the Energy Policy is accounted for, which is followed by cost, safety and security side, and waste management of nuclear plants. Before summary, alternative sources to nuclear plants are elaborated. Energy Policy The Energy Policy Act (EPA) accounts for energy production in the United States (Environmental Protection Agency). The Policy includes the issues such as energy efficiency, oil and gas , coal, renewable energy, nuclear matters and security, tribal energy, vehicles and motor fuels including ethanol, energy tax incentives, hydrogen, hydropower and geothermal energy and climate change technology. ...
On the other hand, the secondary energy source is provided by electricity that is produced from the primary sources. According to the statistics provided by the EIA, the breakout of total energy production in 2010 was: Coal- 30 % Natural gal -30% Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids)- 19% Nuclear electric power- 10% Renewable energy- 10%. Cost Side of Nuclear Energy Development Nuclear energy requires higher cost for development and maintenance as well. In this regard, Holt (2) contends that the reasons for the 30-year halt in U.S. nuclear plant orders include higher capital costs. Holt further elaborates the construction costs for reactors completed since the mid-1980s remained within $2 to $7 billion, averaging more than $ 3,700 per kilowatt of electric generating capacity- in 2007 dollars. Without any doubt, the higher cost of development would put more pressure over the U.S. economy which is already squeezed by the current waves of financial crisis. Additionally, the 30-year halt in nuclear plant development clearly highlights the existing concerns over developing or going nuclear for fulfilling energy needs. Safety Side of Nuclear Plants Safety of Nuclear plants has become a burning issue. On the external side, many terrorist organizations such as Al- Qaeda and its associates are putting everything they could to destabilize American economy and people. For their dirty aims, they can go to any extent. Under such conditions and threats, the nuclear safety has become more significant than ever before. On the internal side, Blatt argues that over the next two to three decades, the existing nuclear reactors in U.S. will observe change with improved designs as most existing reactors are receiving twenty-year operating ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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