Advantages to Using Nuclear Power

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MegaWatt Electrical Company has requested to the city councils of South St Paul and Inver Grove Heights to build a nuclear power plant near their borders. There are some advantages however a lot more disadvantages to building this nuclear power plant that this essay will address. I think that this nuclear power plant should not be built for many reasons. Have you ever heard that Nuclear Power Plants are a clean energy source and don’t release carbon dioxide? This is true however a lot of carbon dioxide is released in building and running the power plant.

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Nuclear power plants produce electricity from nuclear fission. Nuclear Fission is the splitting of atoms into smaller atoms which releases a lot of energy. The actual process of a nuclear power plant starts by uranium being put in the reactor. The heat from the reactor splits the uranium atoms apart releasing energy, nuclear fission. Next, the control rods to take the neutrons and control the speed of the chain reaction by raising or lowering them. To collect the heat energy created by the chain reaction water is pumped through the reactor. Then the energy created by the water from the reactor is given to cooler water in a closed loop in the heat exchanger gets turned into steam. Then the steam goes into the turbine which causes the turbine to spin at high speed. The electricity generator is connected to the turbine so when the turbine spins it causes the electricity generator to spin as well. Finally, the generator creates electricity that goes out to the power grid.

Nuclear waste is what nuclear fuel becomes after being used or repossessed in a reactor. The nuclear waste is radioactive and depending on the waste can have a half-life from 30 to more than 24,000 years. Nuclear waste is stored in pools of water near the reactor. There are different levels of nuclear waste that are disposed of differently. Radioactive waste facilities are built to protect people from radioactivity. Low-level nuclear waste is disposed of similarly to a municipal landfill. High-level nuclear waste can be very radioactive for thousands of years. These nuclear waste need to get disposed very deep underground in stable geological formations created in engineered facilities. High-level nuclear waste does not have any of these facilities that work, however many are being designed and built.

A nuclear meltdown is when there is a reactor accident. If a nuclear meltdown happens it results in damaging the core through overheating or a loss of coolant can lead to a meltdown. To remove or move heat a coolant is circulated in the nuclear reactor. The most common coolant in a nuclear power plant is water in the United States. A nuclear meltdown can be prevented by not losing the coolant if the plant operators cool down the reactor’s core. If the fuel rods are overheating the plant operators can give more coolant.

There are other ways for electricity to be produced. One of these ways is wind power. The electricity is made through wind turbines. The wind comes at the wind turbine and turns its blades. The turning blades spin the shaft. The shaft is connected to the generator which then makes the electricity. Wind Turbines turn kinetic energy from inside the wind into mechanical power. The mechanical power from the turbine can be used to grind grain, pump water, or get turned into electricity by the generator.

Wind power does have disadvantages and drawbacks to using it. One of these drawbacks is that they can be disturbing to the environment. Birds have died from flying into the spinning blades on the turbine.  Wind Turbines are tall and metal which makes it a target for lightning to strike them which can be a danger to nearby people or animals. Wind Turbines create noise which can be a disturbance to the people who live or work nearby. A big drawback to using wind power is that humans can’t control the wind. Wind power has to be used in windy places that were researched and even then wind isn’t predictable. If there isn’t wind the turbines won’t work and electricity will not be produced.  Wind power can be expensive however a lot of other ways to produce power is expensive too.

There are many disadvantages to using nuclear power. Even though nuclear power does not release carbon dioxide the process building and running the power plant releases carbon dioxide. Another environmental concern for using nuclear power is if there is a nuclear meltdown, accident, or waste. All three of these things have radiation and can be damaging to the environment. An economic concern of building a nuclear power plant is the expense. “To construct a large nuclear reactor, you need thousands of components, thousands of workers, costly materials, such as high-quality steel, and systems that provide the reactor with ventilation, cooling, communication, and electricity” (K. Lee, 2018). A social concern is that a nuclear accident can harm humans. An example of a nuclear accident was the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. This accident was caused by a Tsunami disabled the power supply and the cooling system of three nuclear reactors causing the reactors to melt. 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes and 1,000 died in maintaining the evacuation.

There are many advantages to using nuclear power. My first point is an environmental concern, the operation of a nuclear reactor does not release greenhouse gas. This decreases the amount of pollution caused by producing electricity. An economic advantage to using nuclear power is that operating the plant has a low cost. “Although the costs of setting up a nuclear power plant are extremely high, the electricity produced afterward is very cheap” (Rinkesh, 2017). Another advantage to using nuclear power in comparison to other sources of power is that it takes up less space. A power plant takes up about the same amount of space a football stadium does while other power sources such as wind turbines or solar power take up a large amount of land. 

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Advantages to Using Nuclear Power. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from
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