Editorials Technology

Nuclear Energy, Yay or Nay?

There are many misconceptions about nuclear energy, and it’s understandable considering how the word “nuclear” is in the title, and many get spooked real quick. Even though anti-nuclear energy advocates, like Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein, say “nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive,” it’s proven to be the opposite. Unlike natural gas and coal, nuclear energy doesn’t give off any air pollution.

According to Jill Stein, “nuclear power would never survive on a free open market.” Really? Each nuclear energy plant creates more jobs than any other energy source individually: the Nuclear Energy Institute found that wind and gas create 50, coal creates 190, hydro creates anywhere from 100-450, solar creates 470, and nuclear energy creates 500. These numbers are approximate, but it shows that nuclear energy employs more people, making it better for the economy. Also, nuclear energy doesn’t give off any air pollution like natural gas or coal. Sorry, but that steam coming out of nuclear plants is just plain ol’ steam. Either way, I’m quite sure that Lindsey Graham lets off more steam than a nuclear energy plant.

The largest problems with nuclear energy would be with nuclear waste and the high cost of building a plant. Nuclear waste is incredibly hard to recycle, and if it were to be recycled, it would be an incredibly tedious process. For example, according to Greenpeace.org.uk the UK has enough nuclear waste to fill up the Royal Albert Hall five times over, and they plan to put it deep underground with no guarantee that it won’t leak back into the ecosystem. However, if you were to recycle all the nuclear waste in the United States, you’d be able to supply power to the entire country based solely on it for 100 years.

With the cost, the potential problem is building the plant: it’s incredibly expensive to build, but once the plant is fully built and ready to use, it would save more the longer it is around.

Now that I have cleared some things up, you can go on and learn more about nuclear energy if you wish to do so. Don’t let nuclear energy spook you!

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