In our world and particularly in the United States of America, we face many environmental issues that put us at risk for years to come. These issues range vastly from pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, and natural resource depletion. In the United States we consume fossil fuels to power our homes, factories, and cars.
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The rate at which we consume fossil fuels has drastically increased and the question of sustainability has been addressed many times with various responses. These responses are solar power, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass (Renewable Energy). Many of these renewable energy resources are in action today but with our growing demand for energy, the United States has looked to Nuclear Energy. The idea of Nuclear energy usually has fear associated with it. The reason for this is because many terms are associated with it such as radiation, radioactivity, criticality, and meltdown (Ristinen, 2016). These terms have been used throughout history, for instance they were used when the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine exploded and caused radiation to leak from the plant. To this day it is known as the Chernobyl Disaster (Thomson 2016).
The people of the United States have great reason to be fearful of Nuclear energy but our need to find a source of energy that can sustain our growth, has led us to Nuclear power. Nuclear energy can produce vast amounts of energy that is greatly needed and on top of this, there are zero carbon emissions. The promise of nuclear energy seems like the answer to our energy and environmental problems. However if we take another look, we can see that nuclear energy also has many negative aspects that can potentially harm our environment even worse then we already are. The debate over Nuclear energy has been going on for years and will continue on into the future. Generations to come will have to decide for themselves if nuclear energy is a resource that benefits mankind or if it is a resource that hinders the growth of mankind. This paper will address the many positive and negative aspects related to nuclear energy. These aspects include environmental, health, and financial factors. This paper will also address the status of Nuclear energy in the United States. The topic of nuclear energy is important in current times because of the problems the United States is facing. The ever-growing threat of environmental issues, terrorism, and financial uncertainty is on the rise. The promise of Nuclear energy to many seems as our saving grace but to others it is viewed as the beginning of our own demise.
To understand why Nuclear energy is as prevalent as it is in the United States, one must look back in history and acknowledge its origin.
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