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Literature Review Viability of Nuclear Power as an Alternate Power Source - Essay Example

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With the growth of our population will increase the demand for electricity as appliance such as computers, televisions, microwaves, air conditioners and many such are now pre-requisites for Americans. The 'United States Department of Energy' has projected that the utility of power in the U.S…
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Literature Review Viability of Nuclear Power as an Alternate Power Source
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Download file to see previous pages Climate change is usually recognized as one of the most critical issues for the international community as it is known to influence many aspects of the environment as well as the society, together with the health of humans, ecological units, cultivation and irrigation, local and universal economies, sea levels and extreme weather conditions. There do exist more than a few ways to generate electrical energy without discharging air pollution. The most practicable means is nuclear energy, which presents not only a harmless, uncontaminated, and inexpensive alternative to other methods of producing electricity but can additionally be reprocessed. In comparison to the electricity produced by the burning of fossil fuels, nuclear energy is known to be relatively clean because there is no generation of either air pollution or carbon dioxide from the nuclear power plants except some quantity of release as a of result uranium processing which is used in nuclear reactors.
The issue of viability of nuclear plants in comparison to fossil fuels actually depends on the values that are placed on the wastes that each type of plant produces. Nuclear power supplies large environmental advantages by nearly completely eliminating airborne wastes because it emits nil combustion byproducts, no acid gases, absolutely no greenhouse gases and the particulates which are produced throughout the power generation.The diminution of costs in the production of nuclear power is triggered by the production of relatively lesser volumes of radioactive wastes, preceding the final disposal. Since the volume of waste from the nuclear plant is significantly smaller than the amount in fossil fuels, and are nearly in solid form, they are all held inside the reactor stations. Nuclear power stations necessitate very small quantity of fuel, approximately only 100 tonnes per year consequently producing very small volumes of waste. Because of the absolute control of its wastes, nuclear power is publicized to be one of the very few power sources which has all of its external costs paid for in the price of electricity sold to the consumer. But is nuclear power actually economically viable In the 1970's nuclear power charged half as much as electricity from coal burning. By 1990 nuclear power cost doubled to electricity from coal burning (Slingerland et al, 2004). Today the costs of nuclear power are estimated to be about $0.05-0.07/kWh making it, on average, between 2 and 4 times more costly than electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. For example, France, where nuclear power accounts for 75% of total electricity production, it has been confessed that nuclear power is far more expensive than electricity from efficient fossil fuel burning power plants (Makhijani, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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