When the average person thinks about nuclear energy most of the time one of the first things that come to their mind is Fukushima and the devastating meltdown that occurred at their nuclear power plant. Due to their preconceived opinions based solely on few and far little examples, there are a lot of people that assume nuclear energy is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable sources of energy. However, energy experts believe nuclear power is beneficial because it could help cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, the waste produced can be safely stored or reprocessed, and due to strict safety regulations, the dangers behind the use of nuclear power have been greatly reduced.
One benefit of nuclear energy is that it can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels which will help reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuels alone accounts for one-third of the United States carbon dioxide emissions. With nuclear power plants producing practically no carbon dioxide, and large amounts of power, substituting coal plants with nuclear power plants can not only help diminish the carbon dioxide output but it can also keep up with the growing demand for power. Touching more on the subject of the growing demand for power, a realistic way to approach the situation would be to find an alternative power source that uses little resources but produces a significant amount of power. An amazing example of this would be nuclear energy. The United States uses coal plants for one of its main energy sources and because of how much coal is needed to produce that energy there are over 730 coal mines in West Virginia and Kentucky alone. This contrasts largely with the 45 uranium mines that supply the entire world with the fuel needed for nuclear power. Based on the copious amount of coal mines in the world it’s easy to imagine the amount of carbon dioxide that must be produced from the process of turning the coal into energy. Even with these facts in hand, many people are still hesitant to turn to nuclear power when there are other power sources, mainly wind and solar, that also produce little to no carbon dioxide. The problem with these other sources is that most of the time they are not available 24/7 and cannot produce enough energy to keep up with demand. This can be easily shown by the fact that with only 104 nuclear power plants in the entire United States one-fifth of the power is easily supplied while a measly 1% is produced by the solar and wind farms that span miles.