04 Mar Should there be a set limit for the use of nuclear energy in the country?
The United States is the largest producer of Nuclear Power in the globe, estimating for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electric power. The U.S has 98 ongoing nuclear power reactors in over 30 states, operated by almost 30 different electricity companies. Since 2001 these plants have managed an average capacity factor of over 90%, creating up to 807 TWh per year and estimating for about 20% of the total electricity generated.
In addition to granting an extension, the new act legislated in February 2018 provides non-profit and municipal owners of the new Vogtle units to barter their credits to a profitmaking company included in the construction of the reactors. The largest owners of each scheme are for-profit utilities, Georgia Power for Vogtle and South Carolina Electric & Gas for Summer. Letting the municipal and non-profit owners transfer their tax credits to a company committed in the ownership or construction of the units will conserve ratepayer’s money and would “correct a disparity of current law.”
When it comes to proponents of this concerned subject, the critical highlight becomes the advantages of nuclear energy. Nuclear Power can provide high levels of electricity without provoking damage to our environment and atmosphere. In fact, although nuclear energy does emit very tiny quantities of radiation into the air, these levels are even weaker than the radiation we experience daily from the sun, earth and inside our bodies.
One of the reasons we should adopt more nuclear energy is that it produces high amounts of electricity without harming the environment and atmosphere. Nuclear power plants generate less pollution than many of our other current energy sources, including coal fire and natural gas plants. Nuclear energy is not only competent in producing more energy than these other sources but is also eco-friendly. The level of potential radiation exposure from nuclear power plants is smaller than we are currently exposed to regularly from our environment. Every day we are imperiled to radiation from our soil and our air, from active potassium in our diet, and from the sun. These are all commonly occurring forms of radiation, which estimate for nearly 85 percent of our total annual exposure. Another reason we should adopt more nuclear energy is that it is a low-cost source of energy than gasoline, a fuel source that has been bothering our economy for many years. Nuclear energy’s fuel reservoir is uranium, which comes in pellets. One of these pellets cost about $7, which is the equivalent of three barrels of oil, which cost about $84. In 1993, 470 million tons of coal and 96 million barrels of oil were substituted with nuclear energy. By converting from oil to nuclear power over $13 billion was cached.
Whereas on the other hand, opponents believe that, there is great concern that the expansion of nuclear energy programs enhances the likelihood of proliferation of nuclear weapons. As nuclear fuel and technologies become globally accessible, the risk of these falling into the wrong hands is increasingly present. To avoid weapons proliferation, it is essential that countries with high levels of corruption and instability be restrained from creating nuclear programs, and the US should be a leader in nonproliferation by not promoting for more nuclear power at home.
Nuclear power plants are an implied target for terrorist operations. An attack could cause significant explosions, putting population centers at risk, as well as emitting hazardous radioactive material into the atmosphere and surrounding area. Nuclear research facilities, uranium enrichment plants, and uranium mines are also probably at risk for attacks that could cause extensive contamination with radioactive material. In addition to the dangers postured by terrorist attacks, human error and natural disasters can lead to deadly and costly accidents. The 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in Ukraine led to the deaths of 30 employees in the initial explosion and has had a variety of adverse health effects on thousands across Russia and Eastern Europe.
Currently, 444 nuclear power plants are active in 30 countries worldwide, with another 63 plants under construction.