Both nuclear and hydro powers have positive and negative impacts on the environment as well. The most significant advantage of nuclear power is that it does not emit greenhouse gases. This is because no burning of fuel is required to generate electricity. Statistic shows that while electricity generation using coal, oil and natural gases emit at least 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide, at least 0.1 pounds of sulfur dioxide and at least 1.7 pounds of nitrogen oxides per MWh of electricity generated, nuclear power emits 0 pounds of all 3 gases. (Referring to Figure 14) Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, while both sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are gases that react with oxygen and moisture (H2O) in the atmosphere to produce acids that result in acid rain. Hence, since nuclear power do not emit these gases,
it is beneficial to the environment.
There are many benefits of using solar energy instead of nuclear energy. Firstly, there is an economic advantage. According to Consumer Energy Report, it has been found that since 1998, the costs for solar photovoltaic systems have decreased steadily. On the other hand, costs required for nuclear energy has been increasing at a high rate, because construction costs for building nuclear power plants have risen prominently since 1998. Therefore, now it makes electricity that is generated from solar energy much cheaper than the one generated from nuclear energy. The following graph of Diagram 10 draws a clear contrast between costs of the two different energies. While the curve that represents the cost of solar energy declines steadily, the one that represents the cost of nuclear energy goes up without stopping (Samuel, R. 2010).
The cost of building nuclear power plants and maintaining power plants have always been a big deal. In compare to tidal power plants, the cost to build is also very high, but the cost to maintain is very low. Tidal power in the UK has an estimate cost of $15 billion. But the advantage of using tidal energy is that it is never ending. The cost of building a turbine will always be earned back from selling the energy harnessed. SAMPLE CONCLUSIONS
I believe that nuclear energy is suitable way to provide electricity for many countries. Although they come with certain disadvantages, all those disadvantages can be outweighed by the advantages of nuclear energy if countries planning on using nuclear energy plan ahead properly, especially with new generations of safer nuclear reactors. Since fossil fuels are running out, the world has to find a new and appropriate source of energy to provide for a rapidly expanding population. Although renewable energies do have their respective benefits, I think nuclear energy is a better option and will adequately do its job of fulfilling the worlds increasing energy demands. SAMPLE 2
Wind energy and nuclear energy are both alternative energy for people to use. People cannot decide which is exactly better than another one, but they both have advantages and disadvantages to society and economy. But for me, I prefer wind energy to nuclear energy, because I think wind power is much safer than nuclear power. Although nuclear energy has advantages to people, it has hidden dangers. It is very hard to control and deal with once it overheated. If there is a disaster, nuclear power will be a very dangerous thing to people. Compared wind power, although it is not as efficient as nuclear power, it doesn’t bring any dangerous to people. Comparing both human health and life quality, I think health is more important to people. Hence, I like wind power. SAMPLE 3
In conclusion, there is a need for alternative renewable energy to nuclear power to meet our electricity needs and achieve 350ppm of CO2 by 2050. Although nuclear power has its advantages such as being able to produce more electricity per annual as compared to wind energy, nuclear power is very dangerous as it releases radiation and produces radioactive waste. As evidenced by Chernobyl and the ongoing Japan accident, radiation causes harmful effects on both humans and the environment. These effects are long-lasting and damaging. Thus the use of nuclear power poses too great a threat to the environment and humans as there is a risk of large quantities of radiation emission. Whereas wind energy is much safer as it has 0% chance of emitting radiation into the atmosphere hence reducing much concern about radiation emissions. Having said that, nuclear power does have its environmental and economic advantages over wind energy as it does not produce as much greenhouse gases as fossil fuels, it is more cost effective and it requires a lower capital cost. On the other hand, wind energy has environmental and economic advantages over nuclear power as it does not produce radioactive waste, does not produce any greenhouse gases, fuel source is free and requires no transportation and storage cost for waste. Although wind energy may not be the perfect answer to meeting the world’s electricity needs, it is still has crucial and valuable part. Using nuclear power alone to meet the world’s electricity needs is not ideal as it poses too much a threat to the environment, humans and ecosystems. Nevertheless, using both wind energy and nuclear power would help achieve the goal of 350ppm of CO2 by 2050. Therefore money should be invested in ways to create safer nuclear reactors and in newer and more efficient wind turbines.
Diagram 10: Decreasing Cost of Solar Energy and Increasing Cost of Nuclear Energy (Samuel, R. 2010)
SAMPLE LIST OF REFERENCES
Figure 1, 3, 11 and 13: Kerr, G & Ruth, P. (2009, May). Physics (3rd Edition): Revised Edition 2009. Victoria
Figure 2: Moore, J. T. (n.d). Nuclear Fission Basics. Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/how-
Figure 4: Yale University. (2004, December 18). Ionizing Radiation. Retrieved from