In our modern world energy is life, specifically clean energy that doesn’t pollute the environment. Power plants that run off of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline may be efficient but the pollutants they put into the environment cancel out their positives every time. Alternatives such as Solar, wind, and biomass are renewable but still have downsides. Innovations in technology are helping to move alternative energy down the road; however until the technology catches up to the power consumptions of the world a better source of energy is needed. Nuclear energy can be created in mass efficiently; also, it is better for the environment as it does not release carbon into the atmosphere. Despite all the benefits of Nuclear power, many are opposed to it. Sighting accidents such as Chernobyl and the Fukushima meltdown, opponents of Nuclear energy rave about the dangers of radiation and the nuclear waste. Nuclear energy is the best solution to the world’s growing power problem. Although the effects of a catastrophic meltdown can be inconvenient, the likelihood of it happening is very low. Nuclear power should be used to quash the power problem and allow alternative energy to catch up.Alternative energy while ideal is simply impractical. Solar, Wind, and HydroElectric energy are all very good sources of alternative energy if large amounts of land are available. To create one Gigawatt hour a fixed pivot solar farm needs at least 2.8 acres of land according to The National Renewable Energy Laboratory via Energy Manager Today . An efficient wind farm requires even more land due to their size. It is also a well know fact that wind farms can have a tremendous effect on birds, between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year according to Eveleth rose of smithsonian magazine. HydroElectric energy is created by using the natural flow of a body of water; however, to capture the flow of water an obstruction to the source must be created. Obstructing a river to put in a dam to capture the flow of water can destroy entire ecosystems–for example, salmon swim upriver to spawn, if there is a dam in the way: they won’t be able to spawn. Furthermore dams can block the natural release of silt into the ecosystems downstream. Next wind and solar energy while renewable, they are not constant sources of energy: the sun does not always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Also the amount of energy that is being generated can not be scaled up, if there is an increase in power demand, it cannot be met unless the wind, sun, or water increases to meet it. To combat these defects in their design batteries are used to store the energy so it can be used for later. But batteries are costly to make and have a limited amount of power they can store, not to mention when they are no longer usable they create toxic waste. Despite alternative energy being one of the best solutions for the world’s power needs, it is currently inefficient. Until technology is able to catch up a better solution is required. Nuclear power is currently the best alternative to fossil fuel burning plants, it does not burn fuel and therefore does not produce greenhouse gases as a by product. There are two types of nuclear power, fission, and fusion. fission reactors work similarly to current fuel burning plants in the way they produce energy is by using steam to turn a turbine. However, fission uses ceramic pellets of uranium placed into rods. The process to generate steam uses the radioactive decay of the uranium to split atoms, it creates a chain reaction and becomes self sustaining. Because fission reactions are self sustaining they are very efficient. “The R. E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in New York is the smallest nuclear plant in the United States, and it has one reactor with an electricity generating capacity at 508 megawatts” (US energy information Administration).
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