SHOULD THE U.S. BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS FOR AN ENERGY SOURCE? Name: Institution: Abstract The US has over the years been faced with various challenges rising from the high demand of energy, unreliable supply of energy, air pollution concerns, climate change and high prices of fossil fuel…
Those against it argue that there are high risks of accidents and production, maintenance, and nuclear plants operation costs are extremely high compared to others. Supporters of this move argue that, with the current climate crisis, high demand of energy, nuclear energy is the way to go. Keywords: Nuclear energy, nuclear power plants, energy Should the U.S. build more nuclear power plants for an energy source? Introduction In response to high demands of energy, unreliable foreign supply of energy, high costs of natural gas and oil; the US government has recommended building of more nuclear energy plants and upgrading the existing plants (Weeks, 2006). This recommendation has, however, been met with sharp criticism, both positive and negative. Supporters of this move argue that nuclear power is the only way to go as far as production of large-scale energy is concerned. They also argue that, with nuclear energy, the concerns about global warming will reduce (Hargreaves, 2011). On the other hand, those opposed to this recommendation argue that terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants and accidents may have very adverse effect on a large scale. They also claim that, there is no long-term policy that I acceptable for ensuring that nuclear waste is well managed and that the renewable energy is cleaner, more affordable and safer (Weeks, 2006). There is also fear of proliferation and can be stolen and used for creating nuclear weapons thus become a threat to international security. As far as the fears of accidents are concerned and other oppositions launched, the US should explore this option and build more nuclear power plants and put in place policies that would manage and mitigate any said threats. Research Objectives 1. To examine and evaluate the pros and cons of opting to build nuclear plants for alternative energy 2. To determine whether the US needs to build more nuclear power plants Research Hypothesis The US needs to build more nuclear power plants as a source of energy so as stop the overdependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution on environment and effects on climate change and global warming. Research Questions 1. Should the US build more nuclear power plants? 2. Does the US have any policy or any viable plans in place that can help in managing radioactive waste? 3. Is nuclear power a solution to the problem of global warming? 4. Should the United States support the new nuclear power plants? Literature Review The issue of generating nuclear power for civilian use first was first thought of after the World War II. Congress put nuclear research facilities under the control of civilian first in 1946 and thereby formed the Atomic Energy Commission and mandated it with overseeing the nuclear energy industry (Weeks, 2006) . The civilization of nuclear energy, however, generated little or no interest from the private sector at this point. They viewed it as a risky field, and it became very difficult for AEC to find private companies that were willing and ready to take on project. Due to the embargo put on shipment of oil to the US by members of OPEC in 1973 and declaration of the energy crisis by the then US president Jimmy Carter; the government ordered the opening of over forty new nuclear reactors. At the same time, due to concerns of stockpiling of weapon-grade plutonium, the government introduced a ban on recycling of spent nuclear fuel. These plans were, however, ...
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