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Can Nuclear Energy Prevent Climate Change? by City Tech Blogger Sergio Carrillo

The United States of America relies heavily on foreign sources of energy to run the country. The issue has received much media attention due to the political and economic implications it will have in the near future. This problem could at least partially be solved by using technology that already exists, rather than relying heavily on fossil fuels that will come to an end. America’s energy woes – specifically its reliance on fossil fuels – can be solved by reviving nuclear energy with the use of politics to tackle perceived dangers, technological advancements to make them more feasible, and public outreach to promote acceptance.

Nuclear power has been around for decades and can be easily utilized to help meet America’s energy needs. With energy security and climate change being two of the many issues at the forefront of America’s problems, there is a growing need to find solutions as soon as possible. While alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal have enormous potential, they are technologies that still need to be refined and perfected. In contrast to that, nuclear energy has been around for decades and is already  utilized to a limited extent. Instead of relying on fossil fuels for our growing power needs, using past techniques may at least be part of the solution.

An example of the speediest drop in greenhouse gas pollution on record occurred in France in the 1970s and ‘80s, when that country transitioned from burning fossil fuels to nuclear fission for electricity, lowering its greenhouse emissions by roughly 2 percent per year. The world needs to drop its global warming pollution by 6 percent annually to avoid “dangerous” climate change. Although nuclear energy alone cannot be the entire solution, it can provide a substantial portion of the solution.

In the end, clean energy is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a swelling human population. Nuclear Energy is one of the technologies available today and with room for significant improvement and innovation. I personally think that the entire world should start acting in favor of this nuclear energy before we run out of fossil fuels. Future generations don’t have to pay for something they haven’t done. Let’s be fair and let’s expand the life of our wonderful planet.

 

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  1. You make a good point about nuclear and it’s relatively small carbon footprint. But what many people fail to understand about nuclear is that even before the radioactive fuel gets to the reactors, the production of fuel from uranium ore, including mining, milling, then fuel fabrication and enrichment already creates an enormous carbon footprint. Add to that reactor construction (which is cost prohibitive at this point) and when the reactor has to be retired, or shut down because of age, there is another footprint created from the decommissioning process. Then what do we do with the radioactive waste? Whatever it is, burying it in Yucca Mountain or building other lead-lined facilities, transporting the waste – is all more sources for a larger carbon footprint. You may want to read more about this here:
    http://www.concordmonitor.com/Seabrook-is-not-good-for-N-H-2998635

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