Environmental lab - Assignment Example

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Over the years, coal has been the most preferred source and still it constitute 2/3 of the energy consumed in the United States. However, there has been intervention to…
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Analysis of Energy Sources Analysis of Energy Sources Purpose To come up with a more sustainable source for provision of electricity between coal and nuclear
Worldwide, there has been debates on the safety of coal and nuclear energy used for production of electricity. Over the years, coal has been the most preferred source and still it constitute 2/3 of the energy consumed in the United States. However, there has been intervention to provide a cleaner and sustainable energy source (Goodell, 2006). In this pursuit, nuclear power is opted for, but its initial cost is expensive. Maintenance of the plant and nuclear waste management is also a challenge. On the other hand, coal burning contributes 70% of the greenhouse gases and it needed in bulk. In comparisons of the two in terms of energy potential, nuclear produces 10100 energy from an equivalent 1 kg of both. Therefore, there is no doubt nuclear potential is very impressive, but the two have got environmental impacts that needs thorough consideration (Caldicott, 2007).
Hypothesis/Predicted Outcome
Nuclear energy is safer and cleaner than coal
For this research, the main methodology for data collection was animation from MUSE lab. After login, data was collected in accordance with the time changes along the time frame. The data on the quantity of carbon, sulphur, amount of both uranium and coal needed, and accident associated with each are recorded for analysis.
Energy Source
Fuel (Coal)/Uranium Needed (tons)
CO2 Emissions
Sulfur Dioxide and Other Emissions (tons)
Radioactivity mSv (millisievert)
Solid Waste (tons)
Qtr 1) 625,000
Qtr 2) 1.25mil
Qtr 3) 1.875mil
Qtr 4) 2.5mil
Health impairment
Workers fatalities
Fire destructions
Qtr 1)18,750
Qtr 2) 37,500/15
Qtr 3) 56,250/22.5
Qtr 4) 75000/30
Minor emission
Catastrophic emmission
From the gathered data, it can be seen that large quantity of Coal is burn than uranium and at the same time carbon dioxide emission is higher when using coal. Sulphur pollution lacks in nuclear plants. Very little is produced as waste in the nuclear plant whole year through while when using coal massive waste is produced (Neeb, 1997). When it comes to accidents, nuclear plants have put in place tight measures in order to reduce accidents as much as possible. Mostly, reaction of uranium is very severe and leads to the production of high energy. As a result, nuclear power is proving to be more sustainable though its safety is still questionable (Gieré & Stille, 2004).
Caldicott, H. (2007). Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. New York: New Press.
Gieré, R., & Stille, P. (2004). Energy, waSte and the Environment: A Geochemical Perspective. London: Geological Soc.
Goodell, J. (2006). Big coal: The Dirty Secret Behind Americas Energy Future. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Neeb, K.-H. (1997). The Radiochemistry of Nuclear Power Plants with Light Water Reactors. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Read More
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